Geelani Opposes Musharraf's Self-rule
15 January 2006
The Indian Express
New Delhi: Pro-Pakistan harliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who is now in Saudi Arabia after performing Haj there, has opposed 'self-rule' propoosed by Pakistan President Prevez Musharraf. According to sources close to Geelani, the hardline leader, by opposing self-rule, accused Syed Salahuddin, heading an apex body of 10 militant groups, of succumbing to pressures from Pakistan. Geelani's stand has also disappointed leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan who as well as Salahuddin reached Jeddah on January four and had been camping there, waiting for Geelani to complete Haj. Geelani had had a series of meetings with Salahuddin and senior Jamaat functionaries from Pakistan and US- based Kashmiri separatists leaders who have been in the forefront of the idea of self-rule for Jammu and Kashmir. Salahuddin-headed United Jehadi Council, according to Pakistani newspaper Daily Times, has decided to support demilitarisation of the state, a suggestion also made by Musharraf. Interestingly, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq-led moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference which is at loggerheads with the breakaway group led by Geelani, has supported self-rule. However, India have rejected both self rule and demilitarization as parts of efforts to solve Kashmir issue.