Geelani Willing To Sit With Mirwiaz For Joint Strategy


SRINAGAR: In a significant break from his past practice, the chairman of the Hurriyat (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has asked separatist groups in Kashmir to frame a joint strategy for demanding the body of Muhammad Afzal Guru back from Tihar Jail.

Still under house arrest in New Delhi, Geelani has expressed his willingness to go along with any decision the pro-freedom leadership here jointly takes, his close associate and the acting Hurriyat (G) chief, Muhammad Ashraf Sahrai, said.

“He is ready for mutual consultations with the Hurriyat (M), the JKLF, the Jama’at-e-Islami, the Jami’at-e-Ahl-e-Hadees and all other groups outside the fold of the two Hurriyats,” he said.

This is for the first time since the Shrine Board land transfer agitation in 2008 that Geelani has agreed to joint decisions with the Hurriyat (M) which he accuses of deviating from the conglomerate’s charter.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who heads the Hurriyat (M), has already called for a consensus will all groups on the separatist camp’s next move.

Sahrai said that Geelani was out of direct contact because of strict restrictions put on him in Delhi.

“But through an indirect message, he has conveyed that if the leadership present in Srinagar can manage to meet on the issue and come to a decision, he will abide by that,” Sahrai said.   

 “He has asked us to establish contact with others, and come out with a programme after Monday,” he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on a statement by the state police chief, Ashok Prasad, the Hurriyat (G) has said that the conditions being imposed on Geelani for his return to Srinagar were “untenable.”

“The government and the administration should shun this approach of imposing terms and conditions, and respond positively to the demand for Muhammad Afzal Guru’s mortal remains,” he said.

“Geelani is under a strict police cordon in Delhi, and will return to Srinagar as soon as he is freed,” he said.   

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