July 2003 News

Kashani is new Jamaat chief

28 July 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu: Syed Nazir Ahmed Kashani, a 65-year-old Jamaat-e-Islami activist has been appointed as the new supremo of the pro-Pakistan politico- religious organisation in Jammu & Kashmir. He is a resident of Nowsheha outskirts of Srinagar city. Kashani has succeeded Ghulam Mohammad Bhat who introduced and promoted the element of moderation in Jamaat-e-Islami in the last five years. With the support of Mr Bhat, separatist conglomerate Hurriyat Conference had removed hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and appointed an insignificant Jamaat activist as the organisation's representative in the Hurriyat Executive Council last month. According to a Jamaat spokesman, Kashani was appointed as Bhat's successor by the newly elected Majlis- e-Numayandagaan at a meeting held at the Jamaat headquarters in Batmaloo today. Twenty-five persons were elected as the members of the Markazee Majlais-e-Shoora-the highest decision making forum of the organisation. Sources said that Geelani had also filed his nomination papers for the top position. He, however, withdrew his candidature today. In the elections that were held today, all the 97 members of the electoral college were present. While as Kashani polled 59 votes, Bhat got just 30. Geelani's supporters are celebrating it as the organisation's sanction to the septuagenarian jail-bird's extremist approach vis-a-vis Kashmir turmoil. However, it was not immediately clear as to who would represent the Jamaat in the Hurriyat executive council meetings. It was also not clear whether Geelani would retain the position of the Chief of Political Affairs Department in the organisation.


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