February 2004 News

Geelani To Float New Party

17 February 2004
News Network International

Srinagar: Senior pro-freedom leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani is preparing to float his own party that would 'fight the Indian rule in Kashmir through peaceful means and would be guided strictly by the Islamic tenets.' While confirming this, Geelani told Greater Kashmir, the announcement to this effect would be made shortly. However, he declined to be specific. 'Floating a new party is never for the heck of it. There is always a reason when one decides to launch a new organisaton while many others exist with more or less the same objective,' Geelani asserted adding he felt a vacuum in Kashmir as for the resistance movement, which according to him merits a revolutionary attitude and sincere approach. Recalling his over half a century association with Jamaat-e-Islami, Geelani regretted what he termed the degeneration among Jama'at rank and file. 'It's really heart rending to remind the pristine system of Jama'at and the zest and zeal among its ranks, but now.......),' Geelani, who retired as Chief of Political Bureau from JeI in August last year, breaks with brimful tears as he recounts his parent organisation. 'So far as the present state of Islamic movement in Kashmir is concerned-and let me tell you struggle for freedom has been deriving the real impetus from Islam-I feel this's the high time to get up and disburse my moral responsibility,' 75-year-old Geelani averred adding all the nitty gritty regarding the party formation and the back-up political program was long worked out. 'The people had been insisting hard to go it alone. At a massive public gathering in Sopur on the eve of Id-ul-Azha around a lakh people supported the decision of floating a new party by raising their hands. This shows a popular urge for a new organisation that would represent their sentiment in the true sense of the word,' added Geelani, who had publicly denounced 'forum politics' before he chose to head a faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference September last. Asked if he had any Mujahideen backing for his fresh move, Geelani, while describing militants as the vanguard of the freedom movement said his party would be purely political in nature and peaceful in conduct. On the alleged excesses at the hands of Mujahideen, Geelani admitted that in its 15-year history the armed struggle underwent deviation at certain points that, he says, created mistrust in public. 'Mujahideen commanders should seriously consider the civilian concerns and should ensure that the common man is not harmed during operations against the enemy. In fact, people for them is what water means to fish,' Geelani asserted without referring to any outfit.


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