Patch Up Moves Fail, Jamat Heads For Split
6 March 2004
News Network International
Srinagar: There is no end in sight of a patch-up between two factions of Jamat- e-Islami which has made the possibility of split of the party more imminent. Efforts to sort out differences have failed to yield any result. The past six months crisis in the JI took another turn when Amir jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir Syed Nazir Ahmad Gilani issued a show cause notice against party's veteran leader Syed Ali Shah Gilani. Earlier, a close aide of Syed Gilani and head of JI political cell Ashraf Sehrai was also dismissed from the party's post against violation of party's laws. The fissures within Jamat deepened after the group expelled one of its senior leaders, Mohammad Ashraf Sahrai as the head of its political bureau. Sahrai is considered a close confident of Syed Ali Shah Geelani. This was followed by another 'stern' action, when Jamat issued show cause notices to around 10 senior party men including Syed Ali Shah Geelani. 'They have been asked to clear their stand over the reports that Geelani is floating a new party', Nazir Ahmad Kashani, Jamat chief told KTNS. The fresh row started around a fortnight back when Geelani invited some senior party activists to 'discuss some important issues'. Kashani contends that the meet was called with a purpose of floating new party. 'We have to maintain the discipline within the party and those who are behind any such move ought to be held accountable. Show cause notices were issued to some 10 men and action would be initiated against those who willingly joined the meet. There are, of course, some innocents among them who were not knowing the purpose of the meet', Kashani added. The Veteran Jamat leader and the expelled head of its political bureau, Sahrai said the meet was organised to share ideas for making Jamat more vibrant. 'Our activities have been frozen, not on political front alone but on the religious front also. These things are to be discussed', he said. Sahrai, however, admitted that several issues came up including the possibility of floating a new party. 'We have no intention to do so but we are being pushed to the wall. Despite what has been going on, a senior Jamat Rukn was deputed to meet Kashani so that differences are sorted out. But, he (Kashani) out rightly rejected the offer', he said. Geelani, he also admitted, raised the issue of floating new party several times with him. 'But I urged him not to do so', he said. Asked, whether the fresh developments have made the possibility of split more imminent, Sehrai said in affirmative. 'But we will make more efforts to achieve unity', he added. Expelled head of political bureau said Jamat Amir earlier denied audience to Geelani. 'In the recent December, Geelani sahib approached Kashani for holding a meeting for sorting our differences. But, the latter refused to talk to him saying he has no time', he said. Sahrai said the present leadership of Jamat has adopted a dictatorial attitude. 'There is no scope for dissent', he said. The Amir Jamat, on the other hand, said these decisions were taken by the central advisory committee of the party. 'We have regrets over what is happening and we do not want any disunity. But, we are only following our constitution', Kashani said. The issue that has boiled to the present controversy stemmed from Geelani's demand in which he asked Jamat to support the Hurriet led by him. Jamat, however, decided to keep distance from both the Hurriyat factions. Kashani said the Jamat would not support either of the two factions. 'We are aspiring for wider unity', he said. To this Sahrai shot back that the former is interested in forging unity within the Hurriyat factions but is 'unconcerned over the unity within Jamat'.