Former chairman of the Hurriyat Conference and influential Shia leader Maulana Abbas Ansari, considered a dove among the separatist hawks, died here on Tuesday. He was 86.
”Maulana (Ansari) breathed his last at his Nawakadal residence in the old city on Tuesday morning,” a relative of the deceased leader said.
He said Ansari was not keeping well for the past couple of months and was hospitalized for some time in September.
Ansari was the last chairman of the undivided Hurriyat Conference which split into two factions soon after his election as the head of the separatist amalgam in 2003.
It was during the tenure of Ansari as the chairman of the separatist amalgam that the moderate faction — which included the likes of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Gani Lone — entered into talks with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Ansari had stepped aside from active politics and his son Masroor had replaced him in Hurriyat as the representative of Ittehadul Muslimeen party.
Political parties — mainstream as well as separatists — condoled the demise of the the former Hurriyat chairman.
”Maulana Abbas Ansari sb lived a life dedicated to the cause of peace and Islam. An ardent advocate of unity who led a pious and a humble life. He leaves behind a rich legacy etched into the hearts and minds of people of Kashmir. Allah darjat buland farmaye (May Allah bless the soul),” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.
The National Conference (NC) also condoled Ansari’s death.
”Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Moulvi Abbass Ansari Sahab. May Allah grant him a place in Jannat-ul-Firdous and give his loved ones enough strength to bear the irreparable loss,” the NC tweeted.
The Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat Conference said the amalgam is deeply grieved by the death of its former chairman.
”Throughout his life, he resolutely and unyieldingly advocated resolution of Kashmir conflict in accordance with the aspirations of its people,” the Hurriyat said in a statement.