Yasin Malik is the chairman of one of the two factions of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, the chairman for other faction is Farooq Siddiqi (Farooq Papa). The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), founded by Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Bhat, is a Kashmiri nationalist organization founded in Birmingham, UK on May 29, 1977. Within a couple of years branches were established in several cities and towns of the UK; and also in several countries of Europe, USA and Middle East. In 1982 branches were established in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Pakistan and in 1987 in Indian-administered Kashmir (Jammu and Kashmir) which shows it essential foreign origin. The organisation, Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front split in two after the senior leaders of the party disagreed with his policy of dealing Kashmir issue on bilateral level with India on the basis as was done in Nagaland, for which he held secret meetings with Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh. He started his movement for separation of Jammu & Kashmir from secular India as an Islamic Nation of Darul Islam while silent on freedom of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. He spent almost 6 years of his life in jail and in interrogations. Yasin Malik originally came to prominence as a Militant Area Commander under the chief commander of Ishfaq Wani of JKLF who was killed in an encounter with Indian army. In 1994, Yasin Malik renounced violence after he was released from jail and thenceforth, he and his organization called for a peaceful method to come to a settlement on the Kashmir Conflict. He supports the return of Kashmiri Hindus back to the valley.
Yasin Malik was born in 1968 in a modest Kashmir household of Maisuma Bazar in the centre of Srinagar. His father was a Government Bus Driver, driving through the toughest routes of the world between Srinagar and Laddakh. He is married to the famous artist Mishal Malik. Mishal, a graduate from the London School of Economics and an artist, is the daughter of Rehana Hussain, chief of the Muslim League (women’s wing). Her father, the late M.A. Hussain Malik, was an internationally renowned Pakistani economist. Yasin Malik met Mushaal during one of his tours to Pakistan two years ago.
Yasin Malik has admitted killing 4 Indian Airforce Personnel. In 1987, he was arrested, taken to an interrogation center for twenty days and then imprisoned for a year under the Public Safety Act. It was during this period that the four core activist member of the JKLF, Ashfaq Majid Wani (The JKLF Chief), Hamid Sheikh, Javid Mir and Yasin Malik met to form the famous HAJY group, an acronym formed of the first letters of their first names.
Two members of the HAJY Group Hamid and Ashfaq, were killed during encounter with security forces. Yasin Malik and Javid Mir were caught and imprisoned until 1994. In that year, Malik was released on grounds of ill- health. Soon after his release, he announced a unilateral cease-fire on the part of his party. He has stuck, to this day, to his commitment of reverting to a non-violent struggle. Even since his release in 1994 he has been arrested numerous times by Government and had six attempts made on his life by other terrorists. Yet despite this, he has sought to moderate the militant attitudes of fellow party workers. Meanwhile the years of imprisonment have left him frail. Yasin Malik recently completed two lengthy visits to the United States for health reasons. He undertook campaigns to educate the U.S public and garner support for the cause of Kashmiri struggle.
Yasin Malik was arrested in October 1999 by Indian Authorities under the Public Safety Act and was again arrested on March 26, 2002 under the POTA. He was detained for almost a year. In recent times Yasin has had one to one meetings with President of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Prime Minister of India and other world leaders. In 2007 Yasin Malik and his party launched a \campaign known as Safar-i-Azadi (Journey to Freedom). This journey was to create an atmosphere for anti-Indian agitations among public which lasted for one year and during it, Yasin Malik and his colleagues visited about 3500 towns and villages of Kashmir. Stone pelting and sporadic attacks by Muslim majority of Kashmir of security forces have increased hence forth.
Some of his prominent party workers include Adv. Bashir Butt, Enj. Ghulam Rasool Dar, Noor Mohammed Kalwal, Showkat Ahmed Bakhshi and Mohammed Hussain Khan Altaf etc. Yasin Malik has Shaheed Maqbool Bhat, Jinnah & Yaser Arafat as his ideals. Yasin has studied only up to 5th standard but claims that most of the studies he has done are self studies done in various jails. He loves poetry of Allama Iqbal and writings of Imam Gazali. He is influenced with the visions of struggle of Che Guevara.
In January 2010, asked Kashmiri Pandit migrants to return to their homes in the Kashmir valley.
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