August 2003 News

Kashani To Represent Jamaat At Hurriyat

19 August 2003
The Asian Age

Srinagar: Seemingly with the intention of killing several birds with one stone, Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islami is seriously considering sending its newly appointed Amir or chief Syed Nazir Ahmed Kashani as its permanent representative on the Hurriyat Conference's high profile central executive. The party, which has been caught in a dilemma on the face of its firebrand leader and one of the seven executive members of the Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani refusing to attend the conglomerates meetings unless stern action was taken against another constituent People's Conference, will achieve the main objective of avoiding fissures within the Jamaat over the crucial issue in case it's majlis-e-shoora or advisory council puts the stamp of approval on the proposal. People's Conference, a regional party set up by Abdul Gani Lone in late 1970's and now being run by his two sons Bilal and Sajjad Gani Lone, is accused of having violated the Hurriyat Conference ruling by fielding proxy candidates in the last assembly elections, the charge which it, however denies. Unidentified assailants here gunned down the Senior Lone on May 21, 2002, the murder blamed on hardcore militants by both Lone brothers and the government. The Jamaat insiders said that for the sake of party's unity, the majlis-e-shoora is unlikely to concede to Mr Syed Geelani's request that he should be allowed to call it a day as a Jamaat member. Apparently, he wants to retire from the Jamaat, which he can do after already having crossed the upper age limit of 65 years to fulfil the norms set by the Jamaat convention, in the preparation of launching his own political party. The Jamaat leadership feels that such a step on his part is bound to split the party as hardliners from within it and the Hurriyat Conference are rallying behind Mr Syed Geelani and have in the past couple of weeks build up pressure on him to go ahead with the move. A confident Mr Syed Geelani wants to make it a mega event so that the life becomes difficult for his opponents. He had pulled a huge crowd during the mass-contact programme launched by him soon after the Syed Geelani-Lone brothers discord became known to the people, a couple of months ago, which is something which has put the Geelani bete noire within the Hurriyat Conference on their toes. The 74-year- old Jamaat leader now plans to take the fight deep inside the Lone bastion, Handwara in frontier district of Kupwara. He is scheduled to address a public rally at Lone's hometown on Friday. Back in Srinagar, sections of the Jamaat leadership are believed to be of the view that if Syed Nazir is asked to replace Mr Syed Geelani as its permanent representative in the Hurriyat Conference executive, many controversies racked by the Geelani-Lone discord and other issues will subside. The Jamaat majlis-e-shoora, now in session here, is discussing all pros and cons of the proposal and also on how to tackle the issues that are the offshoot of Syed Geelani's face up to Mr Gulam Muhammad Butt who was replaced by Syed Nazirs as the party Amir last month and publicly accusing the Hurriyat Conference leadership of deviating from its agenda.

 

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