May 2002 News

Jamaat follows Hizb expulsion lead

5 May 2002
The Statesman

New Delhi: It is not just Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin enforcing his diktat on commanders. Expulsions have rocked the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), too, with political bureau chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani expelling party’s political secretary Mr Khaliq Hanief. Mr Khaliq earned Mr Geelani’s wrath for defying the party’s traditional norm of opposing participation in Assembly elections, sources said. Mr Khaliq, who used to be the chief’s confidante, has recently been canvassing against militancy. Trouble began last month around the time JeI held its annual Majlis-e-Shoora in the Valley. The Majlis-e- Shoora is considered important as it sets guidelines for the coming ye-ar. This year, Mr Geelani could not attend the meet due to illness. Mr Hanief attended. Eight resoluti-ons were passed; of this, two were political: The first was that the Jamaat-e-Islami (Ja-mmu & Kashmir) would not oppose participation in Assembly elections. Second, as the largest APHC constituent, it would oppose any Hurriyat call for poll boycott, assuming that like in the past the APHC would issue such a call this time, too. Apparently, Syed Geelani was livid when he came to know of it. And after several rounds of consultations, Mr Khaliq Hanief was expelled. Mr Geelani, an APHC executive member, was critical of the recent “secret” meeting of two moderate faces of the Hurriyat, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mr Abdul Ghani Lone, with Pakistan’s National Kashmir Cell head Sardar Abdul Qayoom Khan, in Dubai. Vehemently opposing the decision taken at the meeting to stop jihad, Mr Geelani supported its continuation in J&K, it being the “cause for the armed struggle”. Mr Khaliq’s supporters have reportedly questi-oned Mr Geelani’s decision. They said Mr Khaliq had not violated the JeI (J&K) or APHC constitutions by supporting participation in elections and hence there was no reason for expulsion. They have accused Mr Geelani of “double standards”, saying he himself had contested polls in the 1970s. Amidst growing differences within the Hurriyat over the recent Dubai meet of some Kashmiri leaders, London-based Nazir Geelani, in a letter to the APHC chairman charged the Hurriyat leadership with being clad “in an attire of arrogance”.


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