January 2001 News

Hardline women's group breaks silence to attack moderate Lone

4 January 2001
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Adding its voice to the increasingly vocal fundamentalist fringe in the Valley, the hardline all-women group, the pro-Pakistan Dukhtaran-e-Milat (daughters of the extended Muslim nation) today warned moderate Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone of dire consequences 'in case he did not rein in his tongue' against 'foreign militants and Islam.' In a rare public appearance, her first in over a year, the burqa-clad Dukhtaran chief, Asiya Andrabi, also accused Hizbul Mujahideen chief commander Abdul Majid Dar - the man who announced the ceasefire last year - of being in league with the government of India. And in a strident defence of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, she said that the Kashmir movement didn't belong only to Kashmiris but to foreign militants as well who are 'laying down their lives.' Andrabi recently attacked Lone for his statements against the foreign mercenaries. She had even contested Lone's religious beliefs by saying that he floated 'the No God Federation' in Kashmir. The extremist leader had recently said that Muslim men should go for polygamy in view of the 'genocide unleashed by India' adding that she wished to set a precedent by allowing her husband to marry more women especially those who have lost their spouses. The unexpected press conference today took the media by surprise when Dukhtaran cadres huddled reporters into waiting vehicles at the press enclave and guided them to a downtown neighbourhood in Srinagar. Photographers jostled to get a shot of the chief and her colleagues, all in purdah. Asiya claimed that some mediators from New Delhi had tried to approach her several times but they were told only when 'India accepts the 'disputed nature of Kashmir and includes Pakistan in the talks from the very beginning,' she would not talk to anybody. Asiya's inflammatory address stunned the reporters into silence.To a question whether she held the same opinion about Hizbul supreme commander, Syed Salahuddin, as that of Dar, she said: 'Right now i can't say anything about him.' Echoing Geelani, she said the freedom struggle now was 'not only the sole entity of Kashmiris but foreign militants were also contributing to it in a big way by laying down their lives.' That's why, she said, the Kashmir issue isn't a political one, she said. 'Tongue-lashing against the guest mujahideen reflects thanklessness and selfishness she said. Asked who it was aimed at, she said: Abdul Gani Lone. 'Lone should rein his tongue or else he will face trouble,'She warned, adding after targetting foreign mujahideen Lone was now even speaking against Islam. Andrabi alleged that Hurriyat's Pakistan agenda - Hurriyat's proposed visit to Pakistan - had been scripted by India.'The Hurriyat is trying to persuade the mujahideen to accept the ceasefire,' she said.'We don't want Hurriyat to got to Pakistan. If they (Hurriyat) are going there to persuade the Jaish-e-Muhamamd, Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Al Badr to accept the ceasefire, then they should know that they will fail.' Praising the Jaish, Lashkar and the Al Badr, she said that she wasn't 'sure' of the Hizbul Mujahideen. When told the Pakistan has said that Hurriyat leaders were welcome in that country, she said: 'I have already made my apprehensions public that perhaps Pakistan has been reconciled to division of the state as per the Farooq Katwari Plan. But if that happens, it will bitterly opposed.'


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