×

Will Yasin Malik’s release change anything in Kashmir?

The release of Malik is seen in this backdrop. More prisoners are expected to be released soon, among them possibly the minors, some of whom have reportedly been booked under Public Safety Act.
File : Yasin Malik
Three days after releasing  moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq,  J&K Government has now  set free JKLF supremo Yasin Malik. Mirwaiz was released a day before the visit of the five member delegation headed by the former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha, ostensibly to facilitate their meeting with them. Malik who was ailing at the time was admitted at Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences and hence the delegation could not meet him.
The delegation, however, met Geelani twice to try and prevail on him to moderate his protest roster and at least allow the re-opening of schools. Among its absolutist demands for a forward movement on Azadi, Hurriyat has sought release of the prisoners. And this is a demand that the delegation later raised  with the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who is said to have principally agreed to it.
The release of Malik is seen in this backdrop. More prisoners are expected to be released soon, among them possibly the minors, some of whom have reportedly been booked under Public Safety Act.
 Malik is the only pro-independence leader in Kashmir among a gaggle of pro-Pakistan separatist leaders.  He is part  of neither of the Hurriyat amalgams headed by Mirwaiz and Geelani respectively.  But the three now have been forced to make a common cause following the sudden mass eruption after July 8 killing of the popular Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
But with Malik and Mirwaiz in jail,  Geelani was left alone to spearhead the unrest, which shows little signs of abating. Geelani has been issuing regular weekly calendars, with protest timetable for each day. The calendar has already entered 111th day and so far there hasn’t been a single day of break from the shutdown.
Will Malik’s release make a redeeming difference?  There is hope, it might.  And not necessarily because of Malik’s and Mirwaiz’s release.  The endless shutdown has set in fatigue and people yearn to return to normal life.  Besides, the shutdown has driven the economy to the ground, with a large number of people losing their income.
  However, with Malik and Geelani out, the new protest roster scheduled to be issued on October 2, is likely to be tipped with their inputs.
“However, there is unlikely to be any drastic change in protest roster considering both Malik and Mirwaiz will be chary about being accused of an understanding with the government” said Shafqat Ahmad, a local journalist.  “They will take their time to hurtle the situation in a different direction”.
Top