Hurriyat to advocate Kashmiris' water rights

Hurriyat to advocate Kashmiris' water rights

Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Tuesday disclosed that the separatist conglomerate contemplates to formulate an “economic advisory council to safeguard economic interests of Kashmiris.”

“The council will review the water-sharing accords between India and Pakistan pertaining to Kashmir as interests of our state have been sidelined in the present accord,” Mirwaiz told reporters after chairing a marathon three-hour Hurriyat meeting at its Rajbagh headquarters here.

He said retired bureaucrats, traders and other members of the civil society will be members of the council. “Pro-Kashmir and pro-movement bureaucrats will be chosen to lead the council,” he added.
The Mirwaiz said the Hurriyat would not accept any plan where “our resources are exploited.

“Kashmiris have no say in the formulation of these policies and civil society also has no role in it. The government of India and the state government are hand-in-glove in exploiting our resources,” he alleged. Strongly advocating a fresh look at the Indo-Pak agreements on water resources of the state, the Hurriyat chairman said: “The past agreements between India and Pakistan on Kashmir’s water resources has caused loss to Kashmiris. All agreements need to be re-looked, agreements on our resources, on water, on electricity which belongs to people of Kashmir.”

He rejected reports of rift within Hurriyat on the issue of restructuring of the conglomerate.“There might be difference of opinion, but we have to go by the decision of the majority.”

Sources told Deccan Herald that in the meeting, senior leaders Shabir Ahmad Shah and Nayeem Ahmad Khan raised the issue of Hurriyat restructuring. Backed by general council leaders of the Hurriyat, the two leaders are demanding a single-tier system in the separatist conglomerate instead of two-tier, where executive council leaders including Mirwaiz have more powers.

The Mirwaiz was due to restructure the alliance after it was dissolved to give him a free hand in April 2009. However, the restructuring process never formalised since then.

Although a committee was constituted, it never made any recommendation. “Some of the front-liners (executive members) felt their role might be diluted if restructuring takes place,” a Hurriyat insider told Deccan Herald.

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