May 2005 News

Syed Ali Geelani proposes panel to unite Kashmiri groups

2 May 2005
The Daily Times
Iftikhar Gilani

New Delhi: Syed Ali Geelani, the chairman of his own faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, has proposed a 'coordination panel' to unite pro-freedom groups in Kashmir. 'If there are difficulties in forging unity we are ready to cooperate on issues under a coordination panel, Geelani added.Addressing Hurriyat workers in Srinagar, Geelani alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched to kill him. He claimed that one of those who hatched the conspiracy informed him about the plans. 'I have reliable information that plans have been made to eliminate me physically,' he said. Geelani named his three successors - Muhammad Ashraf Sarahi, secretary general of Tehreek-e- Hurriyat; Masrat Alam, the chairman of the Muslim League and Hurriyat general secretary, and Ghulam Nabi Sumji, the chairman of breakaway Muslim Conference. Later, Geelani told reporters that he had survived 14 attempts on his life since 1996..Key figures in Geelani's Hurriyat Agha Syed Hassan, Farida Behanji and Naeem A Khan were conspicuously absent from the function.Meanwhile, former chairman of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference Prof Abdul Gani Bhat said that unity among the pro-freedom groups would not serve the purpose unless bitterness among the political leadership was done away with.Quoting Prof Bhat, the local news agency KNS reported, 'It is necessary that the pro-freedom leaders should bury their differences to lay the foundation for the unification of all groups.'He praised the Pakistan-India peace process and said Kashmir was a complex issue, the final solution of which would take time as the peace process was still in infancy. He also praised President Pervez Musharaf's efforts for a solution of the Kashmir issue, saying that he was a reasonable person who believed that the issue could not be resolved by wars, but through a peaceful dialogue.


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