Ali Gillani to form new party to stay APHC chief
1 October 2003
The Daily Times
LAHORE: The Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has allowed Syed Ali Gillani to form a new political party to fulfill the requirement for him to continue working as chairman of the split faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Daily Times learnt on Wednesday. The decision was taken after IHK JI leaders consulted JI organisations in Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) to avert a split in the IHK JI, sources said, adding Gillani's new party could be named the Hurriyat Party in a week. According to sources, there are two de facto groups in the IHK JI, one led by Mr Bhat and the other by Mr Gillani.Sources said IHK JI Ameer (chief) Ghulam Muhammad Bhat removed Mr Gillani as JI political representative to the APHC on May 24 after Mr Gillani was nominated APHC chairman. After his removal, Mr Gillani was left with no legal or political standing to hold the office of APHC chairman, sources said, adding Mr Bhat disagreed with Mr Gillani's 'unilateral' nomination as APHC chairman. 'Forming a new party was the only way out for Mr Gillani,' sources said. Mr Bhat said he removed Mr Gillani because of his health, but sources said Mr Gillani was unhappy with the decision because, according to him, his supporters began to think that he was being sidelined as JI Jihad Ameer. Mr Bhat was in favour of moderate leader Maulana Guhlam Abbass Ansari and opposed Gillani's no- confidence motion against Mr Ansari. It has also been decided that Nazir Kashani will replace Mr Bhat to avert a split in the IHK JI,' sources added. Sources said Mr Bhat's supporters gave a conditional nod to the decision, saying neither Mr Gillani nor Mr Bhat would hold important JI offices, and would remain only members. Sources said IHK JI Pakistan-based leaders including Guhlam Muhammad Safi and Guhlam Nabi Noshari played a key role in resolving differences among IHK JI leaders and both leaders would now join Gillani's new party.'We support Gillani against Ansari. Gillani's APHC faction is a genuine one because it has the support of Pakistan and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC),' Mr Safi said.