April 2002 News

Geelani faces guillotine in his own party

25 April 2002
The Pioneer
Khursheed Wani

Srinagar: Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the hardcore separatist leader and most vocal advocate of jehad in Kashmir, received a bashing from his own party, the Jamat-e-Islami, on Thursday, which ridiculed him for going against the party''s policies. Mr Geelani, former Hurriyat Conference chairman who represents Jamat-e-Islami, the most influential constituent of the separatist conglomerate in its Executive Council, had recently castigated the decisions taken in the Dubai meeting of Kashmiri leaders and had vowed to continue jehad in Kashmir for achievement of the final goal of azadi. Jamat-e-Islami took serious exception to Mr Geelani''s remarks in a hurriedly-convened meeting of its Majli-e-Shoura (highest decision making apex body) which was chaired by Jamat Amir (chief), Gulam Muhammad Bhat. Bhat is regarded as a moderate leader of the politico-religious separatist party. A battery of Shoura members and senior district level leaders attended the meeting. Mr Geelani''s remarks do not reflect the policies of Jamat-e-Islami but his personal tendencies, party spokesman Zahid Ali Lone said in a statement issued after the crucial meeting. The statement reiterated Jamat''s policy for settlement of the Kashmir issue through peaceful means and political dialogue. Whatever solution is worked out through tripartite talks, involving India, Pakistan and representatives of people of Jammu and Kashmir, would be acceptable for Jamat-e-Islami, the statement added. Mr Geelani unequivocally supported armed struggle in Jammu and Kashmir at a function in Srinagar on Tuesday. ''Jehad will continue. Let nobody be under wrong impression. The fight for truth and justice shall continue,'' he roared. He aired the remarks in the backdrop of last week''s Dubai meeting in which senior Hurriyat leaders from Valley, Mirwaiz Omer Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone held discussions with former PoK president and Convenor of Pakistan''s National Committee on Kashmir, Sardar Abdul Qayoom Khan and other separatist leaders based in Pakistan and various European countries. The leaders resolved to work for ending violence in troubled State and also to struggle for peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue. Mr Geelani also castigated senior Hurriyat leaders remarks urging rethinking on the Kashmir issue in the backdrop of changing world scenario in the post- September 11 phase. Jamat-e-Islamis tough posture against its representative in Hurriyat Conference may be fraught with serious implications in future. Observers believe that the separatist conglomerate, which is already plagued with factionalism, would be in a fix if the mudslinging campaign of its leaders and constituent parties continues.


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