Hurriyat Rebels Get Democratic Forum, Chairman
15 October 2003
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Aiming to silence critics who accuse it of pursuing a 'dictatorial' agenda, the breakaway faction of Hurriyat Conference on Wednesday named separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani as chairman and appointed a 16- member 'Shoora' or central consultative body to present itself as a democratic forum. This decision came after a meeting at Geelani's Hyderpora residence today. Though the leadership claimed they have not touched Hurriyat's basic preamble - formed in 1993 - they admitted to changing the organisational pattern like scrapping the executive and general council bodies and bar on re-election of chairman. As per the new pattern, the chairman, after completing his three year term can seek re-election. The new set-up has made provisions for election to the post of general secretary to which Mohammad Yousuf Mir was appointed today for three years. Mir said they have not closed the Shoora membership as Hurriyat constituents like the Yasin Malik-led JKLF and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-headed Awami Action Committee are still deciding.