Kashmir Portal

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The Evolution Of The ‘Azadi’ Manifesto

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 16, 2009

The Evolution Of The `Azadi’ Manifesto
14 Jun 2009, 0931 hrs IST, TNN

1940s-60s
Dominant player: Sheikh Abdullah
Dominant theme: Self-determination and secession
Key demands: A plebiscite on whether to join India or Pakistan.
Abdullah, the architect of J&K’s accession to India, was reluctant to surrender “Kashmir’s partial sovereignty” , described by some as “quasi-separatism” .
Kashmiri groups unhappy with the Centre and sympathetic to Pakistan, wanted the state to secede if not “assured a place of honour and dignity in terms of safeguards provided under Article 370”.

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1970s
Dominant players: Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Butt
Dominant theme: Independence
Key demands: Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Butt formed the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front in the UK in 1977. They claimed to be Kashmiri nationalists, not Islamists, fighting for the independence of their homeland.
Opposed the merger of the territories of Jammu and Kashmir into either Pakistan or India.
Later, the front spearheaded the armed insurgency to “fight for Kashmir’s independence” .

1980s-90 s
Dominant players: Syed Salahauddin of Hizbul Mujahideen and Yasin Malik (JKLF)
Dominant theme: Armed struggle for ‘Azadi’
Key demands: They aimed to militarily defeat the Indian army, force India to withdraw from the state and declare independence or join Pakistan.

2000s
Dominant player: Sajjad Lone. All Party Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella group of 26 political, social and religious organizations
Dominant theme: Elections and development
Key demands: Formed in 1993 to further Kashmiri separatism but it also tried to talk to the Centre, promote development work and tourism.
It eschewed violence and some of its leaders, including Sajjad Lone of People’s Confernce have contested elections to “raise Kashmir’s voice in the state assembly and Indian parliament”.

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