March 2006 News

Musharraf pleasing US: Geelani

12 March 2006
The Daily Excelsior

Srinagar: In a strong Pak bashing speech today, All Party Hurriyat Conference (Geelani) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, said that the current establishment of Pakistan has betrayed the Kashmiris in their struggle accusing it (Pakistan) of backtracking on its fundamental stand on Kashmir issue. A strong supporter of accession to Kashmir with Pakistan, Geelani at a seminar organized to remember late Ayoub Thakur spewed fire against Pakistan's current establishment for what he referred to doing a volte-face vis-à-vis Kashmir issue. 'Though Pakistan has been supporting, politically and diplomatically, Kashmiris in their freedom struggle but the current regime has of late abandoned us and has shifted its stance over Kashmir issue,' Geelani said. Seemingly angry over mainstream leaders' arrival in Pakistan and Musharraf's dialogue with them, particularly with Omar Abdullah, Geelani said that it was unfortunate to learn that Musharraf has held talks with the Kashmiri leaders who he alleged, were responsible for the grave human rights violations in Kashmir. Raising protest over Musharraf's warm hospitality for Omar Abdullah, Geelani said, 'Pakistani leaders have started hugging those who were responsible for situation Kashmiris are crossed into,' Geelani said that Musharraf in a bid to please America was exhibiting flexibility over Kashmir issue. 'This (Pakistan's flexibility) has caused severe damage to our struggle,' Geelani added. 'Is it not enough to understand that Pakistan has shifted from its basic stance over Kashmir,' Geelani asked. He, however, sought to mention that Pakistani people continued to support the 'freedom struggle' (of Kashmir), mentioning 'Musharraf wasn't the entire Pakistan'. Geelani vehemently lambasted advocacy of bilateral talks, internal autonomy or self governance. He clamed that there was no other option available to resolve the Kashmir issue but either trilateral talks or plebiscite through UN resolutions. On the issue of division in separatist camp, Geelani said that he had to chew poison, not once but hundreds of times, for the unity within the camp. 'But when they directly or indirectly participated in the elections, I had no option but to separate from them,' he said in an obvious reference to Mirwaiz Hurriyat. Geelani in his speech mentioned that Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabeer Shah in his recent meeting had hinted to join him. Geelani while supporting the protests of UJC against Musharraf said that their remonstrations were based on truth. He said that Pakistan should release the Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Sallahuddin, arrested on Saturday, immediately.


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