The realignment of the separatist spectrum of politics does not appear to be a random, chance event. The reference here is to the joining of three prominent separatist leaders- Nayeem Khan, Shabir Shah and Aga Sayed Hassan – the Hurriyet faction led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
The patch up is in all likelihood the fallout of the aborted and failed NSA level talks between India and Pakistan. Of course, it would be facile and simplistic to attribute the realignment to the NSA level talks failure given that issues like these have a gestation period and build up before panning out in the open. It would appear that Kashmir policy in Pakistan appears to have been taken over by the hawks or the establishment of Pakistan once again. The cardinal principal of the establishment is to make and render Kashmir central to Pakistans foreign and even domestic policy. The primacy of hawks and Kashmirs centrality to Pakistan can be adduced from both the failure of the NSA level talks and the hardening of rhetoric by people of import in Pakistan. General Raheel Sharifs serial comments about Pakistans war preparedness and the centrality of Kashmir is one instance of this. The realignment of political forces in the separatist camp then can be inferred as the direct fallout of this hardening
Rallying around and strengthening Geelanis Hurriyat obviously works in Pakistans favor; so a shuffling of the decks may have been carried out precisely to do this. This development is paralleled by the increasing tempo of militancy in Kashmir. It has been reported with acknowledgment by state authorities that sections of Kashmiri youth are getting drawn towards militancy and joining militant ranks. The strengthening of the Geelani camp and gradual marginalization of other factions like Mirwaiz Umer Farooqs one coupled with fanning of the fires of militancy strengthen Pakistans hand. This may have been done as a counter strategic move to counter the Indian states assertion and assessment about the weakening of separatist forces in Kashmir- a factor that may have in the recent past made the Indian state averse to even countenance talking to Pakistan. All in all then region including Kashmir may be witness more of the same.
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