Geelani forms new party
7 August 2004
Srinagar: A top hardliner in held Kashmir formed a new liberation group on Saturday and said it would draw inspiration from Islam to fight Indian occupation. Syed Ali Geelani, who heads a hardline faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, said he had started the 'Tehreek Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir' or Jammu Kashmir Freedom Movement. 'Our party will draw inspiration from Islam in fighting the Indian occupation of Kashmir,' Mr Geelani told reporters. He faulted other freedom movements for being driven by other ideologies, including secularism, nationalism and communism. 'New parties shape up when older parties fail in their mission,' Mr Geelani said, flanked by Mohammed Ashraf Sehrai, an influential freedom activist who will be his deputy in the group. Mr Geelani, who enjoys support from freedom fighters, defended the guerillas, saying 'They have chosen a way that they thought is right to fight the illegal occupation.' He repeated a call for three-way talks between Kashmiris and India and Pakistan. 'But before we enter into such a dialogue India will have to declare Kashmir as a disputed state and withdraw the parliamentary resolution of 1995 that declared Kashmir as an integral part of India,' he said. Mr Geelani already heads a party, Jamaat-i-Islami.