Geelani takes first step on separatists’ unity

Hurriyat (G) constitutes 3-member committee, holds meeting with HCJK

Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani Sunday initiated the process to give a practical shape to his unity call to other separatist leaders parties by forming a committee and extending a formal invitation to newly-formed Hurriyat Conference Jammu and Kashmir (HCJK).

The Hurriyat (G) Chairman had last week appealed to all the separatist groups to forge “conditional unity” to “defeat New Delhi’s moves aimed at suppressing the Kashmir movement.”
The Executive Council (Majlis-e-Shoora) of the Hurriyat (G) has formed a three-member committee headed by its general secretary Ghulam Nabi Sumji to “bring separatists on a common platform.”
The committee Sunday started the “unity process” by holding a meeting with senior leader of the HCJK Shabir Ahmad Shah. “During the meeting, Shabir Shah was extended a formal invitation to forge unity. The conglomerate’s Committee thoroughly discussed with the HCJK the conditions set by Geelani for forging the unity,” said Hurriyat (G) spokesperson, Ayaz Akbar.
“With this meeting, we have started to give practical shape to Geelani sahib’s unity call. In coming days, the committee will extend invitation for unity to other pro-freedom groups,” he said.
Shabir Shah, who is also the chairman of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), termed Geelani’s initiative on unity as “positive and imperative for the ongoing Kashmir movement.”
“We held first round of the meeting with the Hurriyat (G) committee today and discussed the modalities for unity. HCJK and Hurriyat (G) share a common agenda of attaining Kashmir’s freedom. However, before formally forging unity with the conglomerate we will thoroughly discuss the modalities with our allies. I want to lay strong foundation for unity to avoid splits in future,” Shah said.
The HCJK had earlier this year split from Hurriyat Conference (M) over “some ideological difference.” During the past few months, HJCK and Hurriyat Conference (G) have been supporting each others’ programmes. The HCJK has been favoring unity of “like-minded pro-freedom groups” to “effectively counter the Assembly elections.”
The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), a conglomerate of separatist parties and leaders, was formed on March 9, 1993 as a political front of the ongoing movement for right to self-determination.
Internal fissures within the conglomerate had culminated in a formal split on September 7, 2003, with 12 of its 26 constituents removing the then Chairman Maulana Muhammad Abbas Ansari and replacing him with Masarat Alam as its interim chief. Later, Geelani formed the Hurriyat Conference (G) and his own party, the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.
During the recently-held talks with senior separatist leaders, Pakistan underscored the need of forging unity in the separatist camp. The Hurriyat (G) Chairman has maintained that unity will be forged only with those parties which won’t take part in any bilateral or triangular “dialogues or participate directly or indirectly in the election process held under the Indian Constitution.”
“The doors of Hurriyat Conference are open for any person, organization or any forum that will assure not to accept any four-point formula, soft borders, status-quo or any other out-of-box solution to the Kashmir dispute,” Geelani has maintained.
The unity process has started at a time when Assembly elections are round the corner in the state. “It is high time for separatists to unite and together enforce the election boycott and defeat New Delhi’s moves to suppress the ongoing movement,” Shah said.
Many separatist leaders including Chairperson of Dukhtaran-e-Millat Syeda Asiya Andrabi have supported the common platform saying it will strengthen the Kashmir movement.

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