Geelani objects to Pak. curbs on Hizb
20 May 2003
SRINAGAR: The former chairman of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference and Jamat-e- Islami ideologue, Syed Ali Geelani, today hit back at Pakistan for its decision to ban the Hizb-ul Mujahideen. He termed it shocking and painful. Mr. Geelani told The Hindu that Pakistan had been claiming that it was supporting the 'Kashmir movement for the right of self- determination' at diplomatic and political levels. The continued denial of this right had led to an armed upsurge in Kashmir and the Hizb-ul Mujahideen was the only indigenous outfit of Kashmiris and its sacrifices had been exemplary. On the direction of the United States, Pakistan should not stop the people from continuing their struggle. The decision is not only painful for 'freedom-loving people of Kashmir but for the people of Pakistan as well'. He said that 'the Hizb-ul Mujahideen is the heartbeat of Kashmiri people and a priceless asset for Pakistani people which has been treading on the thorny road of sacrifices'. He said armed struggle was still relevant as there was no indication of a meaningful dialogue for resolving the Kashmir issue. Mr. Geelani said the right of self-determination was the only solution to the problem and if the majority of the Kashmiri people wanted to remain with India, the wish should be respected.