Geelani Biggest Hurdle In Separatists' Unity: AAC
12 October 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: The Awami Action Committee (AAC), a constituent of moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, today accused the chairman of hardline faction of the amalgamation Syed Ali Shah Geelani of being the 'biggest hurdle' in the unity of separatists in the State. 'Geelani is the biggest hurdle in the unity of people of Kashmir', general secretary of AAC Ghulam Mohammad Bhat told mediapersons here today. The news conference was convened by the AAC to respond to the allegations levelled by Geelani at a press conference yesterday that it was playing into the hands of the Centre. Geelani had also accused the AAC of sabotaging his programme of offering Eid prayers at Eidgah in interior part of the city after 20 years. Bhat said the hardline leader did not consult anyone and did not announce the timing for the prayers. He said AAC convened a meeting of ulemas and others and decided to offer prayers at the Eidgah and Imam of Jamia Masjid Syed Ahmed Syed Naqashbandi would lead the prayers. 'We tried to contact Geelani to sort out the issue of timing of the prayers but he was not available,' he added. Bhat accused Geelani of misleading the people by levelling wild allegations against AAC and its leadership. The age- old 'Sher-Bakra' (supporters of NC were called 'sher' while supporters of AAC were known as 'Bakra') conflict was buried once for all in 1983 they jointly fought municipal and Assembly elections in the State, Bhat said. Bhat claimed that during the past one year, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other leaders tried to forge unity among the separatists and said 'the biggest hurdle was Geelani as he issued different statements at different times.' The statements helped the Centre, he alleged. Bhat said that Geelani was a member of the State Assembly and is still getting pension.