Jamaat denies helping militants
21 June 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islami has denied that the organisation was abetting militancy in Kashmir. In an open letter to Srinagar Deputy Commissioner Abdul Hamid, Jamaat secretary general Sheikh Ghulam Hassan termed as ''illusory and unfounded'' that Jamaat was abetting militancy, politically and morally, with a view to secede Kashmir from India and incorporate it with Pakistan. Criticising the detention of senior Jamaat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who represents the party in the Hurriyat Conference, under the Public Safety Act, he demanded that any action against Mr Geelani should be taken after the charges against him were substantiated in a court of law. For this, Mr Geelani needed to be provided opportunity to defend himself in a local court necessitating his transfer to central jail, Srinagar, in view of his age and deteriorating health, the letter, released to the press, said. Accusing Union Minister of State for External Affairs Omar Abdullah of resorting to mud-slinging against the Jamaat, Mr Hassan said ''we believe that Kashmir is the key to durable peace in South Asia and its settlement, once and for all, is necessary through tripartite negotiations.'' The letter said the Jamaat ''affirms in unambiguous terms that any solution reached after putting in sincere and honest efforts of tripartite dialogue is acceptable to it. Any such decision is welcome to Jamaat and it will embrace it without loss of time.'' Denying that the organisaton had any overt or covert liaison with militancy, he hoped that a ''friendly and reconciliatory atmosphere prevail between India and Pakistan''.