May 2003 News

Faultlines Show After Geelani Ouster

26 May 2003
The Statesman

Jammu: For the first time in a big way, many Pakistan-based radical terrorist outfits today came out in open support of hardliner separatist leader and former Hurriyat chief, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. They also lambasted the All Party Hurriyat Conference and Jamaat-e- Islami for their role in 'ousting' the leader. While the Hizb-ul- Mujahideen today supported Mr Geelani after its extraordinary meeting in PoK convened to discuss the developments relating to Mr Geelani's ouster from the Hurriyat Conference, another radical group, the Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen blamed Jamaat chief Ghulam Md Bhat and Hurriyat leaders of anti-movement activities. The Dukhtaran-e- Millat, another pro-Pakistani group headed by Asiya Andrabi, has also warned the Hurriyat to curb anti-movement activities and take Mr Geelani back. Expressing regret over the Jamaat's decision, Hizb spokesman Saleem Hashmi said in a faxed message that the Hizb has extended support to Mr Geelani. The Hizb command asked the Hurriyat and the Jamaat to accept Mr Geelani's 'principled stand and save the movement'. Mr Geelani was recently withdrawn from the Hurriyat by his parent body Jamaat-e-Islami on grounds that he was unwell. He had reacted by saying his ouster from Hurriyat had nothing to do with health but that he had demanded the Peoples' Conference (founded by slain Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone) be thrown out from Hurriyat as it had fielded proxy candidates in the last Assembly polls. The Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen spokesman blamed the Jamaat for fielding proxy candidates in the last Assembly elections and also regretted the silence of what it called the 'conscientious members of Jamaat'. Asking the Jamaat-e-Islami to support Mr Geelani and become a permanent constituent of the jihadi struggle, the spokesman said Mr Geelani was sidelined by the Hurriyat and the Jamaat to appease the USA. The Jamaat central council met today to discuss the barrage of media reports related to the reported 'ouster of Mr Geelani from the Hurriyat executive'. The Jamiat secretary- general, Sheikh Ghulam Hassan, said Mr Geelani has not been permanently replaced by Shiekh in the Hurriyat.


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