'Mirwaiz faction does not represent Kashmiris'
5 September 2005
NA: Syed Ali Geelani, leader of the hardline Hurriyat Conference, on Monday criticised the moderate faction for 'deviating from the basic stand' on the Kashmir issue and said it did not represent the 'freedom-loving people.' Hours before the faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mr. Geelani told a press conference here: 'The Hurriyat delegation is holding talks in contravention of the constitution of the separatist amalgam. The majority of the freedom-loving population is with us and those who are talking to New Delhi are not the true representatives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Those who are talking with India do not represent the aspirations of the freedom loving people of Jammu and Kashmir.' He said, 'they are not inheritors of martyrs.' Mr. Geelani did not spare Islamabad either. 'The present Pakistan Government is backing out of its earlier stand on Kashmir and we are not happy with this change. The ongoing struggle is not for status quo, converting the Line of Control into a permanent border or for the return of 'peace and normalcy,' but for the righteous cause of the right to self-determination.' Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammed Yasin Malik and Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Ahmad Shah did not turn up at the press conference. The Geelani faction invited the leaders to support its stand, particularly in the backdrop of the Hurriyat-Government talks. Asked why they had not come, Mr. Geelani said: 'Only they can answer this question. We invited Yasin Saheb and Shabir Saheb for, we think they have the same stand on Kashmir as we do.' Dukhtaran campaign Backing the campaign against 'social waywardness and moral degradation' launched by the separatist women's organisation, Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM), Mr. Geelani said: 'Arresting people for launching a righteous campaign amounts to butchering democracy.' DeM chief Asiya Andrabi was arrested a few days ago for attacking restaurants and cyber cafés. The Hurriyat chairman appealed for the unconditional release of the prime accused in the Parliament attack case, Mohammed Afzal Guru and Showkat Hussain Guru. The two were sentenced on 'mere suspicion,' he said. 'The Indian Government is using its diplomatic channels to seek clemency for one Sarabjit Singh [of Punjab], who has been awarded capital punishment by the Pakistan Supreme Court, but our youth are given death sentence for no fault.'