Hurriyat (G) under NIA scanner

By K.N. Pandita

That the separatists have been regularly receiving huge monies illegally from undisclosed sources outside the country is no news. To think that insurgency and secessionist movement can survive for more than a quarter of a century without perennial funding is inconceivable.

The clandestine transfer of money through hawala is nothing new for many Asian and African countries. It is not surprising, if some governments in these continents reconciled to this illegal transaction. Our country is not an exception. The main reason for the compromise is that the transactions leave space for segments in the government to become its beneficiaries.

Modi government is running its third year in power. It knew very well that hawala and illegal bank transactions sustained Kashmir sedition. Why did it wait so long to bring the culprits to book? Maybe it had not sufficient proof to frame the recipients or maybe it had realized that existing rules suffered serious lacuna which has now been repaired after making amendment.

In any case, it is to be appreciated that Modi government has taken the bold initiative and the process has begun in right earnest. NIA sleuths are already in Srinagar and reportedly they have questioned some of the activists of Hurriyat (G). It is yet premature to predict the outcome of investigation.

Why did not Congress government take proper action against hawala transactions of the Hurriyat in Kashmir when it knew that illegal transfer of monies was going on on fairly large scale? Hindsight will show that in previous years under Congress rule, a number of hawala cases were detected, but only summarily investigated and then hushed up. No case was ever brought to the public domain and no public opinion was created against an act that was in contravention of existing rules and to the detriment of the national interests.

Suppressing the hawala instances was in line with Congress’ appeasement policy in Kashmir. It never realized the consequences of overlooking an act of the seditionists that could snowball into an avalanche one day. Gripped by shameful cowardice, Congress dragged the country to the brink of disaster.

Modi government has mustered courage and ordered proper action against those involved in anti-national activity. It deserves appreciation and support of the broad sections of Indian civil society.

The government has taken the calculated risk. The risk is backlash from the seditionists in Kashmir. That has already begun. The implicated Hurriyat leadership will give call for total strike which the gullible Kashmiris will religiously follow. It will instigate the youth of the valley for clashing with the security forces to disrupt law and order. It will mean closing down of educational institutions and paralyzing of normal work in the valley. It will mean repeat of the summer of 2016. All this will happen, and may be much more, and the administration will continue its limping journey.

These events should not disturb the government in Srinagar and in Delhi. After all it is nothing new for them. The jinx has to be broken. But what is of great importance is that the NIA should expeditiously continue the probe and come to final conclusion within shortest possible time. Will they do that or not is anybody’s guess.

The crucial thing is this: Will the NIA make public its findings after it has completed the probe? If it does, that will prove a deadly blow to the credibility of the seditionists and their cohorts. Ordinary Kashmiris have been complaining of Hurriyat leaders receiving enormous funds from abroad, through hawala and clandestine bank transactions. But they had not the courage to expose these leaders. In his book the former RAW chief A.S. Dulat does not mince words when hinting that he funded some of the leaders of separatist movement for a long time. And these are the leaders who expected to be the successors of Nelson Mandela as messengers of peace.

By making its finding public, the NIA will take the wind out of the sails of aazaadi movement. It will convince sensible Kashmiris that the slogan of aazaadi was only a mask behind which these leaders were amassing wealth and influence.

It will also expose the Kashmir valley Diaspora in foreign countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and the Littoral States that have been instrumental in collecting funds from donors, individuals or State organizations, and transmitting these to the seditionists in Kashmir.

Kashmir hawala is an extensive and much complicated network. It is not linked only to Pakistan-based terrorist outfits like LeT etc. It has international ramifications. In particular, its connection to the PoK and Pakistani Diaspora in UK is of crucial importance. The UK-based PoK Diaspora led by late Amanullah Khan was the main chapter in promoting JKLF. With the passage of time and with facts of Kashmir conspiracy now coming to fore, many of its old horses have distanced from JKLF. They have begun to realize what the real intentions of ISI are and what destruction it has wrought to them. There are a number of fora in UK from which these people have begun to carry a campaign against Pakistan. Hashim Qureshi, the founder of KLF has vividly told the entire story in his numerous works especially the “Unveiling of the Truth”.

By bringing the perfidy of Hurryatis to public domain, these nationalist elements will be strengthened and they will also contribute their share to exposing the Hurriyatis to the hilt. Dissension within the Geelani group has already surfaced and Naeem Khan, one of the tainted leaders, has been expelled by Geelani.

Finally, it has to be said that sedition against the State has to be dealt with an iron hand. A firm action will disarm Kashmir seditionist for a century to come.

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