Pakistan uniting Hurriyat, strengthens militancy in Kashmir

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, Oct 30: Feeling that divided separatist leadership in Kashmir has failed to serve its interests, Pakistan is making desperate efforts to unite two factions of Hurriyat Conference under the leadership of hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Sources said that renewed efforts are being made as Pakistan feels that divided Hurriyat Conference is ineffective and has failed to serve their interests.

The efforts came at a time when Pakistan is trying to strengthen militancy in Jammu and Kashmir by pushing in more militants into the State. Army maintains that around 500 militants are desperately waiting for cross over into Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan has made desperate efforts this year along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) to push in more militants. Army claims that they have foiled majority of the efforts but sources said that a large number of them have managed to infiltrate into the State. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah last week put this year's infiltration figure at around 80.

The strengthening of the militancy comes over a decade after Pakistan had to officially stop supporting militancy in Kashmir after United States asked it to close down all militant camps following 9/11 attack on the US.

Sources said that on one hand Pakistan is strengthening the militancy while on the other hand they are trying to unite the separatist amalgam to strengthen the separatist political leadership.

Pakistan feels that for the past few years separatists particularly moderate faction has failed to galvanize people's support in Kashmir and despite their efforts past two years there has been relative calm in the Kashmir, sources said.

Pakistan had earlier made its bid to unite two factions of Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Omar Farooq but it failed to bring them on common platform following Geelani's refusal to share platform with former Hurriyat Chairman and moderate leader Professor Abdul Gani Bhat and Hurriyat Conference Executive member Bilal Lone.

Senior separatist leaders Shabir Ahmad Shah and Nayeem Ahmad Khan made desperate efforts two years ago to unite Geelani's and Mirwaiz factions of Hurriyat Conference. They were short of bringing the two factions together but Geelani's refusal to rub shoulders with some of the moderate Hurriyat leaders proved to be a stumbling block.

Geelani feels that Bhat's stand on Jammu and Kashmir issue has become soft over the years and he has even described the United Nations Security Council Resolution of Jammu and Kashmir as irrelevant. And he feels that Bilal Lone and his brother Sajjad Lone had fielded proxy candidate in 2002 Assembly elections. These are the main reason for his refusal to share the platform with them.

Geelani pulled out of the Hurriyat Conference in 2002 soon after the Assembly elections as he alleged that some of the constituents of the separatist amalgam fielded proxies in the election and Mirwaiz failed to take disciplinary action against them.

Feeling that Geelani has been more potent in rallying people around him, Pakistan wants central role for him in the new set up. Geelani had been sidelined by former President of Pakistan General Parvez Musharraf after he refused to toe his line on Jammu and Kashmir and refused to subscribe to his four point formula for resolving the issue.

On the other hand moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Omar Farooq was ardent supporter of Musharraf formula on Jammu and Kashmir. Geelani was officially sidelined by Pakistan till Musharraf was in power.

Sources said, feeling lesser role in the new set up, former chairman Professor Abdul Gani Bhat is in Pakistan to persuade Pakistani leadership not to give Geelani central role. Mirwaiz Omar is also visiting Pakistan later this year to seek more role for his faction in the united separatist amalgam.

Sources said that the Pakistan based United Jehad Council chairman Syed Salahudin is playing key role in bringing separatist leadership together. Since, he is heading the militant leadership his role in bringing the separatist leadership is said to be vital.

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CVC clears panel for CBI chief’s post

NEW DELHI, Oct 30: The Central Vigilance Commission tonight cleared a panel of three senior IPS officials for the post of CBI director, which falls vacant on November 30.

The panel comprises Indo Tibetan Border Police Force DG Ranjit Sinha, a 1974-batch IPS officer of Bihar cadre; Director General of National Investigation Agency S C Sinha (Haryana:1975); and former UP DG Atul (UP:1976), sources said.

The names have been put before the Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, they said.

Current Director A P Singh is due to retire on November 30. He took over the reins of the agency in November 2010 for a fixed period of two years. During his tenure, CBI handled high-profile corruption cases, including 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games and coal blocks allocation scam among others. (PTI)

1800 land compensation cases pending in J&K

Jehangir Rashid

SRINAGAR, Oct 30: Around 1800 land compensation cases are pending with the land collectors across the State.

Due to the delay in the disposal of cases the compensation has remained withheld to the beneficiaries and some of them have approached to the court for the redressal of their grievances.

The land compensation cases are pending in departments of Roads and Bridges (R&B), Irrigation and Flood Control, Public Health Engineering, Education and Health.

Some of the land compensation cases are also pending under Centrally Sponsored Schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY). Others are in Border Roads Organization, National Highways Authority of India, Central Reserve Police Force and Suru Valley Division of Kargil district.

Srinagar accounted for the highest number of pending land compensation cases with 401 out of the total 1779 pending cases. According to the figures available with the Revenue Department, Doda district has the distinction of being the lone district in the State where no land compensation case is pending.

The South Kashmir district of Anantnag is on second number with 317 cases pending, Jammu has 167, Rajouri 146, Poonch 114, Reasi 111, Udhampur 101, Kishtwar 85, Bandipora 67, Kulgam 65, Kathua 46, Kupwara 43, Baramulla 25, Samba 20, Kargil and Budgam have 17 each, Pulwama 14, Ganderbal 9, Leh 8 and Shopian has 6 compensation cases pending.

Officials of the Revenue Department said that the progress of land acquisition is being monitored at various levels like District Collector, Divisional Commissioners and Financial Commissioner (Revenue) and at the administrative level.

"Land owners are being paid compensation soon after completion of acquisition process. Every effort is being made for early payment of compensation by organizing camps. The compensation is yet to be paid in cases where land acquisition proceedings are under process at different stages or in some other cases where the matter is sub-judice," said the officials.

Sulking Kataria gets RDD

NEW DELHI, Oct 30: In a reshuffle of portfolios, Union Minister of State Lalchand Kataria, sulking over work allocation in Defence Ministry to him, was today shifted to Rural Development Department soon after he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought a change in his portfolio.

In two other changes, young MP Milind Deora, MoS in Telecommunication and Information Technology Ministry, got additional the portfolio of Shipping in the same rank and Panabaka Laxmi, who was made MoS in Textile Ministry on Sunday, was reallocated Petroleum and Gas department.

Kataria had refused to take charge in Defence Ministry in the last two days and official sources said he conveyed to Singh that since the other Minister of State Jitendra Singh also hailed from Rajasthan like him, he would find it difficult to work in Defence Ministry.

However, sources said Kataria’s real grouse was that Jitendra Singh was tipped to get charge of defence production, while he would be left with only the subjects of NCC and Ex- Servicemen to look after.

Official sources said the Prime Minister has agreed to look into his request for a change in portfolio.

A late night Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said President Pranab Mukherjee, as advised by the Prime Minister, approved the latest round of portfolios reshuffle.

First-time inductee into the Union Council of Ministers, Kataria was sworn-in along with 21 other Union Ministers on Sunday. (PTI)

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