Srinagar: Veteran pro-freedom leader Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai said on Saturday that People’s Conference leader and MLA from Handwara Sajad Lone was never a part of the resistance camp.
“Sajad was known in the resistance camp as son of Abdul Gani Lone. He had nothing to do with the resistance,” said Sehrai who is a close aide of Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Sajad, who became an outspoken face of the 2010 uprising in the debates of Indian news channels, recently fought Assembly elections and his faction of the People’s Conference won two seats—Handwara and Kupwara.
He was subjected to sharp criticism by several pro-India leaders, including Omar Abdullah, for meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the polls. After the fractured verdict in the polls, he has hinted at his support for the BJP.
Another faction of the PC led by his brother Bilal Lone is a constituent of Hurriyat Conference (M).
Addressing a seminar on life convicts organised by Jammu Kashmir Muslim League, Sehrai took a dig at leaders who he said were “compromising their integrity for trifles”.
“They sit in posh drawing rooms and issue occasional anti-India statements to fool the people.
They have an understanding with New Delhi and people like (former RAW chief) Dulat are their friends,” he said.
Sherai ruled out any alliance with leaders having double standards.
“We can have an alliance with people who are clear in their stand. Those who mortgage their conscience for petty concessions cannot be our partners in our just and genuine struggle,” he said.
Earlier, Muslim League Acting general secretary, Abdul Ahad Parra said there were some black sheep in Geelani’s Hurriyat.
“They should not be allowed to use the platform for their petty interests. Geelani sahib must oust them today only,’ he said.
He lashed out at Sajjad Lone for his “wavering” stand.
“He is a traitor. The people of Kupwara who voted for him have betrayed the freedom struggle,” he said.
Parra, while expressing determination to take the on-going movement to its logical end, said nobody “shall be allowed to play Sajjad Lone in future”.
He also took strong exception to former Hurriyat (M) chairman Professor Abdul Ghani Bhat’s meeting with his “friend” Mufti Muhammad Sayed.
“Why did he choose to meet his friend now?” he questioned.
Arshad Andrabi, a lawyer, said the Bar Association intended to approach the International Court of Justice in near future.
“When all the killings and violations have been documented we will seek ICJ’s intervention,” he said.
Noted human rights defender and lawyer Parvez imroz said all local remedies have to be exhausted before seeking intervention of the international court.
“Yes, the judiciary has not been delivering but there is no alternative. We have to approach the courts. We cannot watch the situation like mute spectators,” he said.
In his telephonic address, Syed Ali Geelani hailed the determination of the prisoners.
“The government of India has tried to crush dissent since 1947. However, the sentiment has survived to this day notwithstanding the odds,” he said.
Law teacher and columnist Dr Sheikh Showkat and columnist Abdul Majid Zargar also addressed the seminar.