Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari

Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari
Ex-Chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference
Personal details
Born 17 August 1936 (1936-08-17) (age 75)
Srinagar, Kashmir
Nationality Kashmiri
Political party Ittihadul Muslimeen

Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari is a prominent political leader and Shia clergy from Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir. He is a Kashmiri separatist, ex-chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, and founder of the Jammu & Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen (JKIM) political party.[1] He is considered a moderate and has called for an end to violence in that region.[2][3]


Early life and education

Maulana Abbas Ansari was born on August 18, 1936 in Srinagar from the influential Ansari family.[4] After his preliminary education in a school of his locality in Srinagar, he went on to graduate from the Oriental College, Srinagar. He left for further studies to Lucknow, the centre of Islamic Theological School in India in 1950. After spending years in Lucknow’s Sultanul Madaris, he went for higher studies in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq in 1954.[4] He mastered in Arabic literature, Philosophy, Hadith and Tafseer, Islamic Jurisprudence and Political Science. After eight year study in Iraq he returned to Kashmir and started his religion-political obligations and became a most active member of all organizations formed for this purpose. Subsequently he launched a religio-political monthly magazine named “Safeena”.

Entry in politics

On March 27, 1962 Maulana 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.[1] JKIM also works for the political, social and economic welfare of the Muslims and demands a UN supervised plebiscite in Kashmir in accordance with the UN resolutions of 1948 - 49.[5]

Maulana Abbas Ansari appeared on the political scene of Kashmir in Dec, 1963 amidst the Holy Relic Movement when people clandestinely lifted the Holy Relic of Prophet Mohammad from Hazratbal Shrine of Srinagar. The “Holy Relic Action Committee” was formed as a response to that indecent and Ansari was named coordinator after the ouster of Mirwaiz Farooq. The group was dissolved after the return of the Relic.[6] Later he along with other political leaders like Molvi Mohammad Farooq, Sofi Mohammad Akbar and others formed a political party named “Peoples Action Committee” in March 1964 to seek the right of self determination for the people of Kashmir. Ansari opposed the holding state political convention in 1967-68 and staged a walk out from the convention in protest against the policies of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.[7] He was arrested several times during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 war under the National Security Act.[4]

Political activities

During 1971 Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 he once again advocated confinement of right of self determination to the people of Kashmir and to silence the voice he was arrested. After Indira Gandhi-Sheikh Abdullah accord of February 1975 the Plebiscite Front was wound up and Sheikh Abdullah revived his National Conference. Maulana Ansari met Sheikh Abdullah in Kotla Lane, New Delhi and appealed him not to let the sacrifices of Kashmir's go waste. He apprised Sheikh that Kashmiri’s have sacrificed a lot from 1947 to 1974 for their right of self determination and their sacrifices can not be bargained for Chief Ministership. Sheikh Abdullah however signed the accord with Indira Gandhi and became the Chief Minister of the State. Maulana opposed this accord tooth and nail and described it as unacceptable to the people of the state. Consequent upon the signing of the accord, the Maulana brought all the people of identical ideology on a single political platform and declared creation of Peoples United Front. The youth turned violently against Sheikh Abdullah and there was an uproar throughout the state against this breach of trust by the Sheikh. The then Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto gave a call for strike on the 28 February to protest against the accord and due to the hard efforts of Peoples United Front the strike was total and telling. The period 1975-85 witnessed the continuous struggle of Maulana Abbas against New Delhi and the regime in Kashmir. Maulana Abbas played the role of opposition leader when it was mandatory for a politician to seek blessings from Sheikh Abdullah. During this period he always stood for the right of self determination and launched the campaign against liquor trade in Kashmir. Ruling regime took strong opposition to these activities and Maulana was again detained and charged with mutiny and conspiracy against the Indian government. Trial was conducted in a closed room in central jail, Srinagar.

Muslim United Front

In 1986 Maulana assembled Muslim scholars, politicians and parties from all sects and sections on a single platform named Muslim United Front (MUF), on the fundamental issue of strengthening Muslim community. Its stance on Kashmir was clear and unambiguous; that it has been occupied by fraud and brute force and its people had yet to exercise their right of self determination. Maulana was selected conveyor of the Front.[3] In 1987 Front accepted the challenge of the then chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to fight elections of state assembly to show the world that kashmiri’s does not consider itself to be a part of India emotionally. The front candidates were declared defeated by heavy margins and National Conference-Congress Alliance formed a coalition government in the state. This was the turning point in the history of Kashmir which culminated in armed rebellion against Indian authority. The front supporters particularly the youth who were harassed and tortured during and after elections, switched over to the part of militancy which changed the situation dramatically. Maulana Abbas was arrested on April 13, 1990 under notorious "public safety act" and lodged in Srinagar's infamous Badami Bagh contonment 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 Maulana was shifted to the Tihar Prisons, New Delhi and finally to heavily guarded Mehrolli BSF camp, some 25 km from New Delhi.

Diplomatic struggle

After forming JKIM in 1962, Maulana Abbas started his very struggle on diplomatic front also. In a letter to Mr. U. Thant, the then Secretary General of U.N. in January 1967, Maulana stressed upon the august body of the U.N. to involve a cure for this obnoxious and most dangerous trouble spot on world body. In 1974, Maulana Ansari called upon the leaders of India, Pakistan and world bodies to join hands in granting Kashmiri’s their birth right for which they been and are facing untold miseries. After his release in May 2000, Maulana Abbas undertook an overseas tour to present the freedom movement of Kashmir in its correct perspective and highlight the atrocities being perpetrated on Kashmiris. In United Kingdom, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, he apprised the leadership and the public about the struggle going on the state and the repression unleashed by the Indian security forces. Maulana also gave a comprehensive presentation of the Kashmir cause at the OIC meet 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. Maulana Abbas was one of the senior Hurriyat leaders to meet the Pakistan president, General Pervez Musharraf and Iranian President Seyed Mohammad Khatami and apprised them about the political situation of Kashmir and invited Iranian government to mediate to resolve Kashmir issue. Resuming the process of interaction in the valley on his return, Maulana Ansari toured towns and villages to address public meetings and come to the aid of the victims of state terrorism.

All Parties Hurriyat Conference

In 1992, Maulana was released along with his political companions like Abdul Gani Lone, Prof.Abdul Gani, Shabir Shah, Syed Ali Geelani and Qazi Nisar Ahmed. After his release from jail Maulana 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.[8] Maulana Abbas represents Jammu & Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen in its seven-member Executive council, the chief policy make and executive body of A.P.H.C. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference kept up its campaign for a solution to the Kashmir issue. The leadership of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference was arrested once again in September 1999.[9] Along with his colleagues, Maulana Abbas Ansari spent 8 months in the prison.

The APHC on July 12, 2003 elected Maulana Abbas Ansari, as its Chairman at a meeting of the Executive Committee members.[8][10] 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.[11] Ansari is the first Shiite head the Hurriyat Conference.[3][8]

Soon after taking over as Chairman, he called for an immediate ceasefire between the security forces and the militants saying "the Kashmir issue is not a border dispute, but a humanitarian problem. It cannot be solved through gun, but only through negotiations" [12][13]

On May 21, 2004 Abbas Ansari offered to resign his post in an effort to bring about the reunification of the coalition's factions[14] and did so on July of that year.[15] Organization's founder-chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was asked to work towards restoring the Hurriyat's original executive council and send invitations to all the pre-split executive council members.[15]

Hurriyat-New Delhi Talks

During his tenure as Chairman of APHC, Maulana Abbas initiated a dialogue process with Indian government on the basis that it should be unconditional, level based and exclusively centered on Kashmir problem. An APHC delegation led by Maulana Abbas Ansari and composed of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Ghani Lone and Fazal-ul-Haq Qureshi negotiated with deputy prime minister of India L. K. Advani in New Delhi on 22nd Jan 2004.[16] The APHC delegation stressed that an honorable and durable solution should be found through dialogue.[17] It was agreed that meeting was the first significant step in the dialogue process and a step-by-step approach would lead to the resolution of all outstanding issues relating to Jammu and Kashmir. The APHC delegation was committed to the enlargement of the dialogue process to cover all regions of Jammu and Kashmir and concerns of all communities. After first round of talks in a joint statement issued by the Indian government and APHC, it was declared that: “India will safeguard the security of all people and stop the violation of Human rights. Rapid review would be undertaken to examine the cases of those held in detention.” The United States welcomed the talks between New Delhi and APHC leaders. A State Department official in Washington, D.C., said "We welcome the progress that is being made.” Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf termed these talks as "a very good beginning". The next round of APHC discussion with Indian government took place in the latter part of March.

Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Road

During his tenure as APHC Chairman, Maulana Abbas also advocated the re-opening of the Srinagar-Rawalpindi road so that the people of both parts of Kashmir could meet their kin and help survivors of the 2005 earthquake.[18] “The people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) have been craving to meet each other. When India and Pakistan can resume the New Delhi-Lahore bus service, there is no harm in reopening the Srinagar-Rawalpindi road”, Maulana Said in an interview.[19] On 7 April 2005, first passengers from either side of the Line of Control cross divided Kashmir as the first Srinagar Muzaffarabad Bus Service was launched. Hurriyet leaders including Maulana Abbas Ansari visited Pakistan and Muzaffarabad in June 2005 crossing LOC by bus.


  1. ^ a b "Introduction". JAMMU & KASHMIR ITTIHADUL MUSLIMEEN. Retrieved 16 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Historic Kashmir talks bring hope". BBC News. January 22, 2004. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  3. ^ a b c Swarup, Harihar (July 20, 2003). "An important player in Kashmir’s politics". Tribune India. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "Hurriyat: A crowded house, a divided house". The Indian Express. May 23, 2002. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  6. ^ Devadas, David (July 20, 2003). "If Ansari keeps Hurriyat and Geelani intact, it won’t be a surprise". The Tribune India. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "JKIM Leaders". Retrieved 4 October 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c "Kashmir separatists elect new leader". BBC. 12 July 2003. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "World: South Asia Kashmir strikes under fire". BBC. September 28, 1999. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  10. ^ Swarup, Harihar (July 20, 2003). "An important player in Kashmir’s politics". The Tribune India. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  11. ^ "Abbas new chairman of APHC". Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  12. ^ Imam, Hasnain (1 August 2003). "Moulvi Abbas Ansari: The Hurriyat's New Chief". Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "There Should Be A Ceasefire From Both Sides". July 28, 2003. Retrieved 4 October 2010. 
  14. ^ "I Will Quit If That Brings Hawks Home: Abbas Ansari". The Indian Express. May 21, 2004. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  15. ^ a b "Ansari exits, Mirwaiz enters". The Telegraph. July 8, 2004. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "Kashmir separatists prepare for talks". BBC. 15 January 2004. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  17. ^ "Historic Kashmir talks bring hope". BBC. 22 January 2004. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "Hurriyat hopes for border crossings soon". India Daily. Oct. 19, 2005. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  19. ^ Swarup, Harihar (November 2, 2003). "Ansari represents the new mood in Kashmir". Tribune India. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 


APHC open to US role on Kashmir

Senate meetings held on 12 & 18 June 2005 at Parliament House, Islamabad on Proceedings.htm

“Human rights violations and peace cannot go together”: Maulana Abbas Ansari

Abbas Ansari Threatens to Withdraw from Peace Talks

Maulana Abbas Ansari asked India to respond "positively" to President Zardari

Pakistan's stand on Kashmir 'historical'

Ansari Addressed a huge public Rally in Muzaffarabad

India suppressing Kashmiris’ struggle by force: Ansari

Maulana Abbas Ansari’s views on dual currency proposal

India is using brute force to suppress the freedom movement: Ansari

Top Shia cleric Maulana Abbas Ansari placed under house arrest

Ansari and others in jail 1999

Amnesty international reports Ansari arrested 1999

See Photographs

Hurriyat Conference leaders

APHC Delegation with the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh

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