Jamaat Mum On Geelani's New Hurriyat
16 September 2003
The Times of India
Srinagar: The Jamaat-e-Islami has offered no reaction to the formation of a new Hurriyat Conference headed by Jamaat member Syed Ali Shah Geelani with the support of 13 separatists groups and backed by various militant outfits. Jamaat said Geelani has accepted the leadership of the parallel platform in his 'personal capacity'. Amir- e-Jamaat leader Nazir Ahmad Kashani said Geelani had approached him saying that he was under intense pressure from many of the Hurriyat members to become their leader. 'I told him to wait till the Shoura of Jamaat-e-Islami (decision making body) is convened and the decision taken. Now when he has accepted the leadership of the Hurriyat rebel group, he will have to explain his position before the Shoura', Kashani said. Shoura is the ultimate body that has the right to decide on these very important issues. Jamaat, of late, has not been sending its representative to the Hurriyat. This was because the Jamat wanted Hurriyat to reopen the Peoples' Conference's proxy participation in the assembly. Since Hurriyat avoided reopening it, no Jamaat leader could attend the meeting for the last three months. Though Geelani has retired from Jamaat's active service recently, he has not been replaced as its representative in the Hurriyat executive. Interestingly, Hurriyat executive has also not taken any decision against Geelani over the last couple of months. Meanwhile, Jamait-ul- Mujahideen has claimed that militants engineered split in Hurriyat Conference to prevent some of its executive members to enter into a secret accord with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In a statement, Jamaat chief Abdul Basit said Hurriyat leaders were about to enter into the accord when militant groups came to know about it and made it in- effective by engineering a split. Basit alleged Hurriyat leaders forgot their cause and made a beeline to strike a deal with government of India. The Jamaat chief added that if the newly elected chairman of Hurriyat Syed Ali Shah Geelani failed to perform, his position too would become precarious.