Geelani not lying: PDP spokesperson

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Apr 21, 2014 12:34 IST

Facing an onslaught from the mainstream separatist parties over his statement, beleaguered Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has gained support from an unlikely quarter. A Kashmiri doctor and national spokesperson of Peoples Democratic Party Dr Sameer Kaul has said that Geelani is “not lying” about his meeting with Narendra Modi’s emissaries.

“He may have several shortcomings but he will never lie, said Kaul while speaking to
Hindustan Times. Geelani had told him during the course of treatment about the meeting with two Kashmiri Pandits and the conversations,” Kaul said.

Dr Kaul, who is close to Geelani, has never denied meeting Geelani in the ‘present context’. Kaul is PDP spokesperson based in New Delhi.

“I know Geelani sahib for 30 years, he is not lying. He told me about the meeting in Delhi itself but did not name people as he had given his word to them,” he said.

Kaul, who has been treating Geelani for over two decades, said that authorities would know who the people were. “Geelani Sahib is being constantly watched so authorities would know who they are,” he said.

Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) youth wing leader Sanjay Saraf, who was named by a national newspaper as one of the two Kashmiri Pandits, said that he had met Geelani but not as Modi’s emissary.

Confirming his close relations with the hardline separatist leader, Saraf said he had met Geelani as a family friend. LJP is an NDA ally supporting Modi’s prime ministerial candidature in the coming polls.

“Mr Geelani is like a father figure, I have known him for over 12 years. I meet him whenever I am in Srinagar. Even my wife and kids meet him, he is family for me,” Saraf said.

He, however, dismissed reports that he had carried any message from Narendra Modi to the hardline Hurriyat leader.

“The report is baseless. I was not in Delhi on that day. I have spoken to Geelani sahib and asked him to reveal the names but he said he had given his commitment,” Saraf said.

The LJP leader said his relations with the separatist leader were “personal”. “When Geelani sahib was under house ar rest in Delhi following Afzal Guru’s execution, my party leader Ram Vilas Paswan raised the issue in the Parliament. It’s for the first time in the history that a senior leader talked about sufferings of a separatist,” he said.

“I have no qualms in admitting my relationship and would have admitted if I ever met him in this context,” he said.

Saraf said he rushed here from Bihar after he was named as one of the emissaries of Modi that Geelani claimed had called on him for opening a dialogue with the BJP leader.

Geelani on Friday claimed that Modi had sent two emissaries to him and the sepa-ratist leadership in Jammu and Kashmir to create a “soft cor ner” for BJP by making a “commitment” to seek a solution to Kashmir issue.

Geelani has not named the emissaries so far. The meeting allegedly took place in Delhi on March 22. The separatist leader also claimed that the emissaries had called on other se paratist leaders who were now pinning hopes with the NDA coming to power for resolution of Kashmir issue.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah had on Saturday questioned the apparent move of the BJP to reach out to separatists ahead of the polls.

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