'Geelani creating vicious environment in Kashmir'

Indirectly blaming hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani for the killing of several separatist leaders in Kashmir over the last 24 years, chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on Saturday alleged that the octogenarian Hurriyat hawk was trying to create a vicious environment in the Valley.

The assertion comes a day after Geelani accused Mirwaiz of being in touch with BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s men. “Such baseless utterances by Geelani have led to the killing of several separatist leaders, including my father Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq (in 1990). Who does Geelani want to kill now?” Mirwaiz, who is also Kashmir’s chief cleric, asked in a hurriedly called press conference .

“The struggle for Kashmir’s freedom is a people’s movement and nobody is its godfather. Who the hell is Geelani?” he said, adding, “We are not in league with the Indian establishment.”

Mirwaiz feared Geelani’s statements would create a “civil-war” kind atmosphere in Kashmir. Clarifying his stand on praising former prime minister A B Vajpayee’s initiatives in Kashmir, he said, “How will the Hurriyat help Modi when we are not in the electoral fray. Yes, I have said the NDA under Vajpayee took some initiatives for Kashmir but those were not followed up by the UPA.”

Adding further, he said, “That does not mean anybody is endorsing the BJP or the NDA or any particular person. This is completely wrong.”

On Friday, Geelani had attacked Mirwaiz and chief of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) Abdullah Wani over their statements regarding Modi and claimed: “Those who said they have expectations from Modi over the Kashmir issue and those who said Modi won’t be a hardliner anymore after he becomes PM of India have actually met his people and that is why they issued such statements.”

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