Dukhtaraan-e-Millat becomes first "designated terrorist organisation" to deal with Pakistani officials in New Delhi

Radical women’s outfit Dukhtaraan-e-Millat has urged the Nawaz Sharif government to freeze all Kashmir-related Confidence Building Measures [CBMs] with India to resolve the Kashmir issue.

The Dukhtaraan — known for shutting cinemas, video libraries, beauty parlours and wine shops in 1988-89, and coercively implementing the Islamic dress code in 1992 in Kashmir — had a 60-minute session with Sartaj Aziz, Mr. Sharif’s adviser on national security and foreign affairs, at the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi last Sunday.

Chairperson Asiya Andrabi, who floated the group in 1982, led the three-member delegation.

Endorses trade ties

“We appreciated Mr. Nawaz Sharif’s emphasis on [implementation of the] U.N. resolutions at the National Assembly in Islamabad and later at the U.N. General Assembly in New York as we believe that this problem is the creation of the Partition of 1947 and [Kashmir] should logically become a part of Pakistan for being a Muslim-majority State. But, we also pointed out that the successive regimes in Pakistan had vacillated too much and had adopted policies and postures seriously harmful to the very idea of Pakistan and the Kashmir cause.

“We told them that nothing short of accession to Pakistan would be acceptable to us as we have laid down 6,00,000 lives in our struggle. Sartaj sahab assured us in very unambiguous terms that Pakistan would never let down the Kashmiris,” Ms. Andrabi told The Hindu on Tuesday.

“We endorsed Islamabad’s trade and business initiatives with India. We have no objection to the [existence of] people-to-people contact between the two countries. But, we also asserted that the so-called Kashmir CBMs were a poison for the Kashmiris. We reminded them that nobody from Pakistan had visited J&K for a principled stand for over 50 years. We explained how such visits and CBMs had compromised Pakistan’s position on Kashmir and thus damaged our freedom struggle,” Ms. Andrabi said.

“So, it was our urgent request to Mr. Sharif’s government to freeze all Kashmir-related CBMs with India — particularly entertainment and media troupes such as Junoon and SAFMA.”

With her maiden visit to the High Commission, Ms. Andrabi has made the Dukhtaraan the first “designated terrorist organisation” to deal with Pakistanis in New Delhi.

Banned outfit

Despite having no precedent of using arms and guerrillas, the pro-jihad Dukhtaraan figures among the 36 schedule-1 “terrorist organisations” banned by the Union Home Ministry under Section 35 of Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act, 1967. Nine of these groups — Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Al-Umar Mujahideen, Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front, Al-Badr, Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen and Dukhtaran-e-Millat — operate in J&K.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Yasin Malik, whose Hurriyat Conference and JKLF are not outlawed, were the other prominent separatist leaders drawn from the Kashmir Valley for the meeting.


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