August 2003 News

Geelani To Float New Party

5 August 2003
News Network International

Srinagar: Senior Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani is going to launch his own political party in the near future. In what could be his parting shot, Geelani will desert even his parent organisation Jamaat-e- Islami, should it opt for his replacement in APHC. This will pave way for a new political grouping led by Geelani, which will act parallel to APHC. Besides, to give credence to his allegations about People's Conference, he is scheduled to hold a 'mini-referendum' at PC's bastion Handwara today (Wednesday). This, he says, would prove the indirect power sharing of PC in the present government. Talking to Greater Kashmir at his Hyder Pora residence, 72 year old Geelani reiterated his stand against the alleged participation of PC in previous elections. He warned if Jama'at gave in before the APHC on the issue he would snap his half a century old ties with the party to his own organisation. 'My party will strictly desist from the political ambiguity', Geelani said while explaining the political agenda for his new party. 'Clarity and not ambiguity. This's clearly mentioned in the Hurriyat constitution that no solution to the Kashmir issue would be acceptable if sought under the purview of Indian constitution and that the tripartite dialogue is a conditional option to the UN resolutions,' he replied adding the dialogue has to be held under the auspices of UN or any other friendly country. 'Any activity outside this ambit would amount to treason', he said. Hurriyat leaders, he said, are violating the constitution of the amalgam by willingly getting into the 'political traps'. Contradicting the fresh APHC stand on the talks process, Geelani said if a leader had got himself convinced that he should be in the mainstream, why resort to doublespeak. 'They ( Hurriyat leaders) should come clean on their stand which is in stark contradiction to the constitution of APHC. If they shy away from being straight, why not make an amendment in the constitution,' he stressed. On the Mass Contact Program launched during a public rally at Sopur, Geelani said he will prove his point even in the 'core constituency of People's Conference' by holding a open referundum at Kandi, Handwara to prove PC's proxy role in the assembly elections held last year. 'We'll ask their voters whether they voted for an Independent candidate or People's Conference and their response would be a testimony to my stand,' he said adding if need arose a new outfit would be launched soon. On the current engagements of APHC leaders in New Delhi, Geelani termed unfortunate the attitude exhibited by Hurriyat leaders despite the fact that 'the hand of friendship extented by Indian Prime Minister during his Srinagar visit on April 18, still remains a mere statement. The aging leader said in his proposed party he would prefer meeting the people rather than seeking audience from the foreign diplomats 'who understand Kashmir issue more clearly than anybody and as such need no awareness'. He termed the ongoing talks effort at various levels as a part of conspiracy aimed at bringing separatists back into mainstream. 'Ram Jethmalani's agenda is not a secret now. What could one get out of a hyped meeting with a person who had a brief to persuade Hurriyat leaders to participate in the previous elections. 'And I believe he succeeded in doing that as the APHC leaders did not launch a boycott campaign during the election campaign,' Geelani pointed out. To a question that will you afford to stick to your hard line approach even if Pakistan softens its traditional stance over Kashmir which seems likely, he said, 'Pakistan can't afford an about-turn on Kashmir as the (Pakistan) government agencies are not the only factor linked to Pakistan's Kashmir policy but 14 crore people of Pakistan stand united on the fact that Kashmir is their national issue and they will never allow anybody to compromise on it'. Asked about the changed postures of Pakistan government, Geelani said, 'I don't see any change in Musharaf's stand that he had taken at Agra in 2001'.


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