Mohammad Abbas Ansari, the leader for whom Elite lamented.

wilayattimes (Jammu and Kashmir)

Srinagar | WTNS | Syed Roh-u-Allah | Oct 28:Born to an influential Ansari family on 17 August 1936 Hujatul Islam Wal Muslimeen Moulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari Shia cleric a Kashmiri separatist who joined All parities of Hurriyat Conference known for his religion preaching served as the founder and patronage of Ittihadul Muslimeen “JKIM” an ambassador for Shia Sunni unity which was at the stake due to the then onslaughts a believer of Wilayat-e-Fiqhi and Islamic Revolution led by Late Imam Khomeini.

Ansari received his elementary education at a local school in his vicinity Srinagar, graduated from oriental College in the same locality then moved to Lucknow in India for further studies.

Abass Ansari further delved his educational journey to Najaf, Iraq, commencing in 1954. His special domains were Arabic literature, Philosophy, Hadith and Tafseer, Islamic Jurisprudence and Political Science. Back to Kashmir almost after one decade stay in Iraq he laughed a Urdu Magazine tilted ”Safeena”

Political Tenure

On 27 March 1962 Abbas founded the political party “Jammu & Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen”(JKIM) (Unity of Muslims) with the main object of keeping the various sects of Muslims united. JKIM also works for the political, social and economic welfare of Muslims and demands a UN-supervised plebiscite in Kashmir in accordance with the UN resolutions of 1948 and 1949.

Amid the massive uproar and political uncertainties followed by Holy Relic Movement Moulana Abass Ansari became the showman of political landscape of Kashmir. Pertaining to mention here it was the time when the Holy Relic of Prophet Mohammad from Hazratbal Shrine of Srinagar was lifted away. A special committee was formed to counter that incident and Abass Ansari was given the charge as coordinator after the Mirwaiz Farooq was sacked.

The group dissolved after the return of the Relic. Along with political leaders including Mohammad Farooq and Sofi Mohammad Akbar, he formed a political party named “Peoples Action Committee” in March 1964 to seek the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir. Abbas opposed holding the state political convention in 1967 and 1968 and staged a walk out from the convention in protest against the policies of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. He was arrested several times during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 War under the National Security Act.

” Memorable spectacular aspect of his life is a cynosure – Nexus of Schools under the aegis of Al-Abass Relief Trust”.

These schools have produced the gen-next innovative breed. The time demanded for educational enlightenment. Abass Ansari came up with the mushroom growth of schools which became very easy approachable for the students. They now had more than 10 schools in their many areas of north and central Kashmir.

Few of the schools are worthy to mention here Madina Public School Gund Khawaja Qasim , Ahmad Pora , Noori Pora , Baliharran , Hanjiwara etc.”

Ansari’s Political Activism

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Abbas again advocated for self-determination for the people of Kashmir.

He was then arrested for inciting people against their own nation. After the Indira Gandhi-Sheikh Abdullah accord of February 1975, the Plebiscite Front ended and Sheikh Abdullah revived his National Conference.

Ansari met Sheikh Abdullah in Kotla Lane, New Delhi and appealed to him to not let down cause of Jihad. He told the Sheikh that Kashmiris had “sacrificed” a lot from 1947 to 1974 for self-determination and their sacrifices could not be exchanged for the Chief Ministership. Sheikh Abdullah, however, signed the accord with Indira Gandhi and became the Chief Minister of the State. He opposed this accord and described it as unacceptable to the people of the state. Consequent upon the signing of the accord, Abbas brought all the people of identical ideology on a single political platform and declared creation of Peoples United Front. The Pakistani Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, called for a strike on 28 February to protest against the accord.

The period from 1975 to 1985 witnessed the continuous struggle of Abbas against New Delhi and democratic government in Kashmir. Abbas was opposition leader. During this period he always stood for the right of self-determination and launched a campaign against the liquor trade in Kashmir. The Government opposed these activities and Abbas was again detained and charged with mutiny and conspiracy against the Indian government. His trial occurred in a closed room in the central jail in Srinagar.

Muslim United Front (MUF)

In 1986 Abbas assembled Muslim scholars, politicians and parties from various factions on a single platform named Muslim United Front (MUF), on the fundamental issue of strengthening the Muslim community. It argued that Kashmir was occupied by fraud and brute force and its people had yet to exercise their right of self-determination. Abbas was selected conveyor of the Front.[4] In 1987, the Front accepted the challenge of the chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to fight elections of state assembly to show the world that Kashmiris do not consider themselves to be a part of India. The election was rigged by the government. The Front’s candidates were defeated by heavy margins and the National Conference-Congress Alliance formed a coalition government in the state. This was a turning point in the history of Kashmir and culminated in armed rebellion against Indian authority. The Front’s supporters, particularly the youth who were harassed (and some were tortured) during and after elections, switched to militancy, which changed the situation dramatically. Abbas was arrested on 13 April 1990 under the “public safety act” and lodged in Srinagar’s Badami Bagh cantonment interrogation centre. After a month of interrogation he was put in Jammu central jail from where he was exiled to Jodhpur in western India. From Jodhpur, Abbas was shifted to the Tihar Prisons, New Delhi and finally to the heavily guarded Mehrolli BSF camp, some 25 kilometers from New Delhi.

Abass Ansari’s Diplomatic Journey and Struggle.

“In a January 1967 letter to Mr. U. Thant, then the Secretary General of the U.N., Abbas requested that the U.N. intervene over Kashmir. In 1974, Ansari called upon the leaders of India, Pakistan and world bodies to join hands in granting Kashmiris their birth right.

After his release in May 2000, Abbas undertook an overseas tour to present the freedom movement of Kashmir and highlight the atrocities reportedly being perpetrated on Kashmiris. In the United Kingdom, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, he apprised the leadership and the public about the struggle. Abbas also gave a comprehensive presentation on Kashmir at the OIC meetings in Casablanca (Morocco) and Doha (Qatar) in December 1994 and November 2000 respectively. Later the government of India impounded his passport to prevent him from traveling abroad to champion the Kashmir cause, so he was not allowed to attend OIC’s 10th and 11th summit in Malaysia and Senegal in 2003 and 2008 respectively and other conferences across the globe. Abbas was one of the senior Hurriyat leaders to meet the Pakistan president, General Pervez Musharraf and Iranian President Seyed Mohammad Khatami. He apprised them about the political situation in Kashmir and invited the Iranian government to mediate to resolve the issue. Resuming the process of interaction in the valley on his return, Ansari toured towns and villages to address public meetings.”

Abass Ansari and Hurriyat Conference.

In 1992, Abbas was released along with his political companions like Abdul Gani Lone, Abdul Gani, Shabir Shah, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Qazi Nisar Ahmed. After his release from jail, Abbas, along with his other colleagues, started organizing different political, religious, social and humanitarian organizations and played a role in the formation of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). APHC was founded in 1993 to unite various political parties of Jammu & Kashmir demanding the right of self-determination.[9] Abbas represents Jammu & Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen in its seven-member Executive council, the chief policy making and executive body of A.P.H.C. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference kept up its campaign for a solution to the Kashmir issues.

The leadership of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference was arrested once again in September 1999 Along with his colleagues, Abbas spent eight months in the prison.

On 12 July 2003, the APHC elected Abbas as its chairman at a meeting of Executive Committee members Out of the seven constituents, representatives of six parties were present at the meeting. Abbas Ansari was the fourth chairman of the Hurriyat who replaced Abdul Ghani Bhat on the latter’s completion of his two-year term Ansari is the first Shiite head of the Hurriyat Conference.

Ansari died in Srinagar on the morning of 25 October 2022, at the age of 86. He had suffered from multiple illnesses in the three months prior to his death. About one lakh people joined his funeral. Amid moist eyes, many prominent Shia and Sunni scholars participated in the funeral.

Family sources said that Ansari breathed his last at his residence in Nawakadal area of Srinagar Tuesday morning.

Notably, Ansari was admitted in SKIMS Soura recently after he developed certain health related issues.

Hurriyat (M) Condoles demise: Hurriyat Conference (M) expressed deep sorrow and grief over the demise of veteran Hurriyat Executive Member, it’s former chairman, and leading religious scholar of J&K, Moulana Muhammad Abbas Ansari. .

Paying glorious tributes to the late leader, in a statement to Wilayat Times, the Hurriyat said that throughout his life he resolutely and unyieldingly advocated resolution of the kashmir conflict in accordance with the aspirations of its people, and made personal sacrifices for his political stand, as he was jailed several times and spend years in jail in the course of people movement for resolution of the conflict. His belief that the resolution could be attained through peaceful means became evident during the regime of (Pakistan President) Pervez Musharraf and (Indian Prime Minister) late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, when he proactively championed the All Parties Hurriyat Conference’s stand that the Kashmir dispute be solved through dialogue and negotiations with India and Pakistan.

Mirwaiz expresses grief: Paying glorious tributes to Moulana Abbas Ansari for his long and principled political career, Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq , who is under house detention for pursuing that principled stand, recalled the great contribution of late Abbas sahab to the peoples movement and his role in strengthening the platform of All Parties Hurriyat Conference. “As its first chairman in 1993, Maulana Ansari guided the me like a father figure and in our association of last 30 years shared an affectionate bond with me,” Mirwaiz said.

Recalling Moulana Ansari’s historic journey to Casablanca (Morocco) in 1994 with him, on the special invitation from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Mirwaiz said that the late leader very ably discharged his duties as the spokesperson of Kashmiri people at the world forum.

APHC chairman expressed deep sadness that due to his continued incarceration he could not attend the nimaz e jinaza of his dear colleague and companion of three decades, nor was he able to offer condolence in person to the bereaved family

Aga Syed Hassan Al-Mosvi Al-Safvi condoles demise: Anjuman-e-Share-Shian president Aga Syed Hassan Al-Mosvi Al-Safvi while expressing his deep shock and grief over the demise of Abbas Anasri said that Kashmir has lost a great religious scholar and a political leader. “Kashmir and its people needed the leaders like Abbas sahib but death keeps no calendar. Today, he left this world. We will miss him forever,” he said and prayed for the highest standards for the departed soul in Janah.

Meanwhile prominent politicians, civil society, scholars and cutting across the lines of religions and sects visited residence of Late Molvi Abbas Ansari and extended their sympathies and condolences with family members and his followers.