Geelani may announce new party today
25 July 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
New Delhi: Pro-Pakistan and radical Islamic leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani is likely to announce formation of his own party ó 'Tehrek-e-Hurriyat- Kashmir' ó tomorrow, turning down all requests for unity. Geelani, who is expected to have the backing of Pakistanís ISI, has turned down all requests of unity with moderate Hurriyat leaders Abdul Gani Bhat, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Maulana Abbas Ansari. With the formation of Geelaniís group, radical militant groups like Lashker-e- Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen were likely to rally behind him for his consistent approach vis-a-vis annexation of Kashmir with Pakistan. A two-time MLA in the State Assembly, Geelani took the separatist path in early 90ís when militancy raised its ugly head in the State. Geelani failed to woo support from his parent group Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI). The hardline leader had dashed a letter to Amir-e-Jamaat Nazir Ahmed Kashiani saying his outfit should be termed as a political wing of Jamaat, for which a committee has been formed. However, as the time passed and moderate Hurriyat leaders began their unity efforts to woo in Itihadi force leaders like Yaseen Malik, Shabir Shah and Sheikh Aziz, Geelani ran out of patience and decided to announce his party without waiting for JeIís decision. The new party was likely to have its own constitution. Kashmir experts fear that with the announcement of Geelaniís party, attacks on moderates were likely to increase in the days to come.