Islamabad: The two factions of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front based in India and Pakistan on Thursday announced they had completed their merger, and would work together on issues like a campaign to halt the execution of terror convict Afzal Guru.

The process for reuniting the factions began on August 12 with a meeting of their leaders, Amanullah Khan and Yasin Malik, in Rawalpindi.

The factions formed a special committee to oversee the merger and this body finalised the process on September 18, JKLF leader Muhammad Rafiq Dar said.

The JKLF, which was formed to wage an armed struggle, split into two factions in 1995 after Malik publicly renounced violence.

Dar and Amanullah Khan told a news conference at the Press Club here that leaders of the JKLF in both parts of Kashmir will now jointly work on issues, including moves to highlight alleged human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir and the "Save Afzal Guru Campaign" launched by Malik.

Guru, a Kashmiri who was convicted for conspiracy in the December 2001 terror attack on the Indian parliament, was sentenced to death in 2004.

He is currently on death row and parties like the BJP have been pressing the government to carry out his execution.

During the news conference, Dar said Amanullah, who founded the JKLF in 1977, would be the "lifetime supreme head" of the organisation.

Malik would be the chairman of the JKLF till a supreme council is formed and a central convention is held to give shape to the future plans of the organisation.

Malik will run the organisation with a 19-member committee comprising representatives from Jammu and Kashmir, PoK and abroad. Another committee will be formed to "reframe" the constitution of the JKLF, Dar said.
A statement issued by the JKLF indicated that Malik would play a key role in the organisation's affairs with the ageing Amanullah largely acting as a nominal "symbol of unity" for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.