A day after Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani claimed certain sections of the pro freedom camp were in touch with Bhartiya Janta Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s emissaries, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the head of parallel Hurriyat faction, flayed the octogenarian leader saying ‘who the hell is Geelani’.
Hurriyat Moderate Faction Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
While addressing a jam packed press conference at his Nigeen residence on the outskirts of Old City in Srinagar , said such baseless utterances by Geelani in the past have led to killings of resistances leaders. “Who does Geelani want to kill now,” he said.
Mirwaiz added Geelani’s statement is “baseless and fabricated”. “It is deliberate attempt to mislead the public of Kashmir as well as freedom loving people. Since 1990, people are giving sacrifices and leadership is also giving sacrifices. We want to tell Geelani that this is the same leadership which gave blood to the freedom movement,” he said.
Launching a verbal attack on the octogenarian leader, Mirwaiz said: “Since 1990, Geelani and his people have been issuing these baseless statements and they are trying to give the notion that they are only right and others are wrong,” adding: “We will not allow it. This movement has no godfather and Geelani should come of this thinking that he is holier than thou.”
While denying Geelani’s claims that he met emissaries of Modi, he said: “I want to make it clear that we have not spoken to BJP or any of Modi’s emissaries. Geelani’s allegation is baseless.” He said it is not for the first time that Geelani has leveled these kind of ‘baseless’ allegations. “It is not his today’s approach. They haven’t done this for the first time,” he said.
While accusing Geelani of creating confusion among Kashmir nation, Mirwaiz said: “By these baseless statements whom did Geelani want to get killed? Since 1990, many of our leaders including my father were killed as a result of these baseless allegations.”
“There is a huge trust deficit as far as Geelani is concerned. Such statements are creating atmosphere of mistrust and are facilitating those elements seeking to eliminate people physically and target them. This has happened not once but many times,” he said.
“Geelani wants himself to be seen as the sole conscious person in Kashmir. This is irresponsible. This movement belongs to all,” he said. “This mindset of that ‘I am right and others are wrong’ needs to be changed. We respect Geelani. Many columnists are also trying to give notion that he is right. He is a veteran but he is trying to push us to the wall and that is unacceptable,” a visibly angry Mirwaiz said.
“Geelani is the same person who has contested elections under Indian constitution 12 times in the past. He has no right to question us,” he said, adding: we don’t want to go in the past. “If we unveil past then it is people and Geelani who have to decide,” he said. “Geelani has no copyright of movement. He should talk about himself.”
Mirwaiz said that Geelani’s statements will create an atmosphere of civil war in Kashmir. “I ask people to be vigilant,” he said. While continuing attacks on Geelani, he said: “Our silence and patience should not be seen as our weakness,” he said, adding: “I ask Geelani to change his approach and don’t compel us to come on streets and before media.”
The 44-year-old cleric said: “We respect every leader. Hurriyat doesn’t believe in attacking and questioning credibility of any party or leader. But time and again this party and this group which Geelani heads has always tried to malign others just to prove himself right which unfortunately is he is never right.
Lashing out at Geelani, he said: “We are in the process of finding solution. There will be occasions when you will have to meet leadership of India; leadership of Pakistan, people living in India so why is this mindset that if you meet opposite and that is sell-out.” He rejected the allegations of ‘compromise’ and said: “What compromise? Who is compromising?”
He said that we are at a stage where we have to show responsibility and farsightedness. “Kashmir issue is political issue and involves aspirations of people of Kashmir. But we lack trust.”
He said that Hurriyat wants solution of Kashmir either through United Nations’ resolutions or tripartite talks between the leadership of India, Pakistan and Kashmir. Mirwaiz said that his amalgam is not supporting Modi.
“My family has been pro-movement from last 130 years,” Mirwaiz said.
In his statement Friday, Geelani said two Kashmiri Pandits had approached him in Delhi asking him to engage in direct or indirect talks with the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
While Geelani claimed he had rejected the offer, he said a group of local separatist leaders was already engaged in talks with the Indian government through emissaries.