Now, Hurriyat rebel group faces rebellion within its own ranks
11 November 2003
The Hindustan Times
Press Trust of India
Srinagar: The rebel Hurriyat group, led by hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, is facing rebellion within its own ranks now.Aga Abdul Hussain, vice president of the Anjuman-e-Shar-e-Shian (ASS) and younger brother of the party president, on Tuesday announced breaking away from the Geelani faction, blaming its leader of playing divisive politics.The announcement implies a split in Jammu and Kashmir's largest Shia party. Hussain also said that he has been supporting the main Hurriyat faction, led by Maulana Abbas Ansari - himself a Shia leader.'Right from the beginning, I have been supporting the Ansari- led faction as the real Hurriyat. Geelani's relevance in the Hurriyat ended when his parent body, the Jamaat-e-Islami, recalled him from the Executive Council,' Hussain said in a statement in Srinagar.Launching a scathing attack on Geelani, Hussain said that the ageing separatist had always failed as a leader, and now carried little influence in Kashmiri politics without the Jamaat's backing.He added that Geelani had dealt a severe blow to Kashmir's 'freedom struggle' by playing divisive politics.In an oblique to reference to his elder brother and ASS president Aga Syed Hassan, Hussain lamented that some people had unfortunately come under the influence of Geelani.