Geelani constitutes “save Jamaat committee”
30 July 2004
News Network International
Srinagar: Planning the total take-over of Jamaat-e-Islami, now on Aug 8th, senior pro-freedom leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has constituted 'Save Jamaat Committee' of Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu & Kashmir. Geelani's right hand man, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, has been appointed its chairman. Top Geelani loyalists Qazi Ahadullah and Mohammad Ramzan Fahim have been appointed 'advisors' and the former Kupwara district president Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah 'convenor' of the committee. At a meeting at Geelani's Hyderpora residence, the committee constituted different logistic units to pave the way for complete take-over of the organisation. Informed sources said that the Geelani camp would engineer the removal of the Jamaat's Amir, Nazir Ahmed Kashani, while trying to accommodate some functionaries of the rival group. Instead of Aug 5th, the Arkaan Ijtimaa (Convention of Empanelled Members) has now been called on Aug 8th at the organisation's Batmaloo headquarters. Fearing a coup Geelani, Kashani has been avoiding to call the empanelled members' convention. His argument is that calling such a convention was the exclusive prerogative and discretion of the Amir as per the organisation's constitution. An electoral college of about 2,000 empanelled members had elected Kashani as Amir (chairman) for a term of 3 years in 2003 and also elected 25 prominent delegates as members of the markazi shoora (central executive committee) for the same term. While as the elected members and other office bearers, including five of the six district presidents of Kashmir valley, are said to be Kashani's supporters, Geelani is reportedly enjoying the support of Srinagar district president and majority of the basic members in Srinagar and Baramulla districts. Kashani has dismissed the Geelani camp announcement as 'unconstitutional' but he is likely to surrender office without resistance as most of the members in Srinagar seem to be Geelani supporters. Majority of the Jamaat members in Budgam, Pulwama and Anantnag districts is apparently in favour of the moderate leader Kashani. Their contention is that Geelani and his supporters in Srinagar wanted to continue the politics of extremism at the cost of the rural members, who have been pathetically at the receiving end of the turbulent situation. A Save Jamaat Committee press release implored all the empanelled members to attend the scheduled convention of Aug 8th and described it as 'the matter of life and death for Jamaat-e-Islami'. As exclusively reported in this newspaper, Geelani has decided to capture the Jamaat headquarters and he has no plans of floating a separate party.