October 2003 News

Geelani Persuading Malik

2 October 2003
News Network International

Srinagar: In an effort to make the new Hurriyat Conference more representative, senior Kashmiri leader and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chief Muhammad Yasin Malik is being persuaded to join the rebel group. Hurriyat Chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani is himself spearheading the move. Sources close to Hurriyat disclosed that Geelani visited Malik's office-cum-residence at Maisuma and had an hour long meeting with JKLF leader. He was accompanied by Muslim League leader Masarat Alam. Senior JKLF functionaries were present while the two leaders had a detailed discussion over the state of affairs within the pro- freedom camp, Greater Kashmir reported. The move assumes significance for the fact that first time in the history of ongoing resistance movement in Kashmir pro-Pakistan and pro-independence entities are forced to join hands. According to sources Malik was formally requested by Geelani to join his faction 'in the larger interests of the movement.' On Geelani's plea, sources said, Malik reacted positively saying he had devoted all his life to the struggle for self-determination and would be the first to support the 'sincere and genuine endeavors to safeguard the movement against decay and disintegration.' However, Malik has reportedly been non committal over his joining Geelani's Hurriyat. Insiders say new Hurriyat is yet to finalise its organisational structure, which Geelani has publicly promised to be more democratic and hierarchical in nature, and the delay is being ascribed to the absence of widely acclaimed 'moderates' in the new grouping. 'The new Hurriyat Conference was to announce its new set up on Sep 25 but, failed to do so in the event of loose foundations as some big guns are still away from it,' Abdul Qayoom, a Hurriyat activist said. Analysts say if Yasin Malik tilts to Geelani the separatist equation may fundamentally alter putting some old guards in a dilemma.


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