- The pro-freedom leaders say unity is the need of the hour to “take the ongoing struggle to its logical end”
SRINAGAR: In a major development, three years after three senior pro-freedom leaders – Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmad Khan and Aga Syed Hassan – parted ways from the Hurriyat faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq over differences on the functioning of the party, the trio on Wednesday joined the Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Geelani.
While Aga Syed Hassan, an influential Shia cleric and the President of Anjuman-e-Sharey-Shian was expelled last year by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from his Hurriyat faction for “maligning the conglomerate’s image”, Shabir Shah and Khan had floated the Hurriyat Conference Jammu and Kashmir. With the three leaders joining the Geelani faction, the third faction of the Hurriyat, which came into being last year, stands disbanded.
The trio made the announcement during a joint press conference held at the headquarters of Hurriyat (G) at Hyderpora. Talking to reporters, President National Front Nayeem Khan said that they had joined Geelani sahib to counter “Indian aggression” and to “take the ongoing struggle to its logical end”. The efforts for unity, Khan said, were going on since last year.
Shabir Shah, who also spoke on the occasion, said the time had come for the pro-freedom leadership to ‘unite and fight the challenges on a single platform’. “Unity is a must. We have many challenges. The Sangh Parivar, the BJP and others are all up against us on some ‘Mission Kashmir’ (sic). It is the need of the hour to confront these challenges, which can only be done when we are united. So to fight it, we have to have a single platform,” he said.
Welcoming the trio into his amalgam, Geelani said, “Together we will fight Indian occupation. I welcome them (the trio) and hope they would truly represent the aspirations of the people. My doors are open for all those who want to join us to take our struggle to its logical conclusion”.
Geelani added that the “RSS and BJP and regional pro-India parties were strengthening Indian occupation. We will foil their evil designs tooth and nail. The sole solution to challenges faced by the pro-freedom leadership was unity and, Alhamdulillah, we are becoming a strong force”.