Jamaat Allows Geelani To Float A Separate Party
2 August 2004
Srinagar: The Jamaat-e-Islami succumbed to the pressure of its former hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and allowed him to form a separate political outfit. The Jamaat is sending a representative to the Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani and has also extended full support to the Geelani's new outfit, likely to be launched on August 7. The Jammat, which is the largest cadre-based politico-religious organisation has also decided to relieve some of its leaders and cadres to work with Geelani. With this decision, the Jamaat has parted ways with Ittihadi (Unity) Force, a conglomerate of separatist parties, which had kept equidistance from the two breakaway factions of the Hurriyat, led by Geelani and Molvi Abbas Ansari. This decision to give permission to Geelani to float his new party was taken after Geelani rejected the Jamaat's decision yesterday, inviting Geelani to head the political wing of Jamaat to avoid a split. Geelani told media persons today that with the Jamaat sending its representative to Hurriyat, there were indications that the rest of the components of the Ittihadi Force would also consider the invitation to join Hurriyat (Geelani). Asked as to the status of the unity efforts with the Abbas Ansari faction of the Hurriyat, Geelani expressed pessimism over the chances of a patch-up. 'That faction has done an immense harm to the cause of movement but as and when the time arises we will see', he said. The Ittihadi Force was formed after a split in Hurriyat last year. The JKLF, People's League, Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Jamaat-e-Islami and Shabir Shah's Democratic Freedom Party were the main constituents of the Force. The today's development has once again shown Geelani's grip on the Jamaat and much of the hardcore separatist mainstream. Changing equations in the separatist camp in favour of Geelani and the increasing isolation of the Ansari group is also a likely fallout, observe political watchers. Explaining the reasons why Geelani could not join up with the Jamaat, its Amir (Chief) Syed Nazir Ahmad Kashani said Jamaat has its own role to play as also its own political objectives. 'That is why we have given freedom to Geelani to form his outfit as he is working for the resolution of Kashmir dispute', he said. Meanwhile, in another development former JKLF vice chairman Javed Ahmad Mir floatd his own party Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Forum. Mir, is among the founding members of JKLF in 1988 and one of the first Kashmiri youths to cross the LoC for arms-training in PoK. Mir had developed differences with JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik over the issue of holding talks with the Government of India.