Srinagar: Reacting to Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s remarks that some pro-freedom parties were in league with BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday came down heavily on Geelani and accused him of trying to be “godfather and sole conscience keeper of Kashmir’s freedom movement.”
“Hurriyat Conference has taken serious note of this fabricated and baseless statement (by Geelani). This is a deliberate attempt to mislead the freedom loving public of Kashmir who have given sacrifices for this movement since 1990,” Mirwaiz said while addressing a hurriedly called press conference at his residence here.
Kashmir’s “freedom movement” has no godfather, Mirwaiz said. “This is people’s movement, but Geelani Sahib has once again come into the field to prove himself right and others wrong and his this holier-than-thou approach is not new to him, it has been going on since 1990.”
Mirwaiz said that Hurriyat has a clear agenda on supporting the dialogue process between India Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership to find a solution to the Kashmir issue. “But Geelani Sahib calls everyone a traitor and against the people of Kashmir who supports such process,” he said.
“I want to ask who the hell is Geelani Sahib? Who is working against the people of Kashmir? We have given our blood for the people of Kashmir. He has no right to give such irresponsible statements,” said Mirwaiz.
He also accused Geelani of creating a vicious atmosphere which facilitates those elements who are seeking to eliminate the people physically and target them as has happened before. “I don’t know who he wants to get killed and who will be the next target…We want to tell him that the nation will never forget him,” said Mirwaiz, who was flanked by his senior party colleagues Bilal Lone, Abdul Gani Bhat and Maulana Abbas Ansari.
“My father, his (Bilal Lone’s) father, his (Abdul Gani Bhat’s) brother and so many people at leadership level have been killed,” said Mirwaiz.
He said that nobody is in league with any agency in Kashmir and the movement is at the stage when everyone has to show responsibility and farsightedness.
“Kashmir is a political issue involving the aspiration of people of Kashmir, and I ask these people particularly Geelani Sahib that our patience should not be considered as our weakness, and don’t compel us to come on streets or before media as far as their approach and mindset is concerned,” Mirwaiz said.
“Hurriyat does not believe in attacking anyone or questioning anyone’s credibility, but time and again Geelni Sahib and his party has maligned us just to prove himself right, but unfortunately he is never right,” said Mirwaiz.
He said that the pro-freedom leadership should try to trust each other and there is huge trust deficit as far as Geelani’s approach is concerned. “He wants to see himself as sole conscience keeper of the movement and this approach has to be changed,” said Mirwaiz.
Mirwaiz said that Geelani’s party gave the statement that Tosmaidan land lease issue was not important as it was election time. “I want to ask why? Tosmaidan is important issue it shows the mindset of Indian establishment and its militarist approach in Kashmir. But we did not react to that statement,” said Mirwaiz.
He said that if BJP committee had come to meet Geelani Sahib and he wouldn’t have informed the public about it, “I would not have said that he is in league with secret agencies.”
“Unfortunately Geelani Sahib and his supporters and some columnists around him, label others wrong and project only Geelani Sahib right. We know what is the thinking behind it,” said Mirwaiz.
“Geelani Sahib should go for self-introspection before leveling allegations against others. He has fought a dozen elections and took oath (under the Indian Constitution) and is criticising others now,” the Hurriyat chairman said.
He also said that his party did not meet any BJP person and is not helping Modi in elections, but he had only told a journalist that NDA government took some initiative to solve Kashmir issue which was not taken forward.
“But this does not mean that we are endorsing BJP or NDA or any other person. That is wrong,” said Mirwaiz.
He said that he and his party has “inherited the freedom movement and represented Kashmir issue at international level and no one has a copyright on this movement.”
“I have inherited this movement; my family has been representing the movement for last 150 years and I know my responsibility,” said Mirwaiz, urging Geelani to abstain from issuing “irresponsible statements regarding the things about which he does not know anything.”