Jamaat feels ignored by Pak, says Geelani doesn’t represent it | india | Hindustan Times
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Jamaat feels ignored by Pak, says Geelani doesn’t represent it

In the backdrop of Pakistan’s new initiatives viz-a-viz separatists in Kashmir, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) feels sidelined and has decided to assert its political space in the resolution of the Kashmir problem.

india Updated: Apr 01, 2010 10:31 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

In the backdrop of Pakistan’s new initiatives viz-a-viz separatists in Kashmir, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) feels sidelined and has decided to assert its political space in the resolution of the Kashmir problem.

The JeI, a socio-religious group, has lodged a protest with Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi over not being invited by Pakistan for fresh round of talks with separatists in Islamabad. It has also distanced itself from Sayed Ali Shah Geelani.

“We have expressed our reservations over not being invited by Pakistan in their fresh invitation to separatists…Also Geelani doesn’t represent JeI but represents the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat,” Advocate Zahid, spokesman of JeI, told the Hindustan Times.

The JeI, once considered backbone of the Hizbul Mujahideen, went into oblivion after its cadres were killed by the counter-insurgency forces across the Valley, particularly north Kashmir. Later, the JeI was forced to distance itself from militant movement and confined itself to socio-religions teachings.

The JeI felt sidelined when Pakistan High Commission did not invite the group during the visit of National Assembly speaker Fahmida Mirza in January this year to attend the 20th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth --- though all other separatist groups were invited.

Feeling neglected, Jamaat amir (head) Sheikh Mohammad Hassan in strongly-worded condemnation has said: “We (Jamaat) are not an organization floated for ‘need of hour’ purposes. We (Jamaat) have our own individuality and have a record of sacrifices. We should get a separate invite”.

Hassan said that Jamaat is credible and visible political force of Jammu and Kashmir with a record of sacrifices. “Those who have ignored it have, probably, no idea about it,” he added.

Pakistan has formally invited Hurriyat and other separatist leaders to Pakistan. No dates have been fixed for it so far, neither separatists have shown any eagerness to fix dates for the meeting. But JeI has received any invitation from Pakistan.

Zahid told the HT there was no differences between what Geelani and Jamaat espouses but “we (JeI) are a separate entity and could have different opinion on the nitty-gritty of the issues.”

The JeI is for the implementation of the United Nations resolutions of Kashmir. “But in case the resolutions are not possible to be implemented, the Jamaat believes Kashmir should be resolved through tripartite talks and not trilateral talks,” said Zahid.

The Jamaat amir (head) also justified stone pelting in Kashmir. “When tear smoke shells are fired at innocent youth, they have nothing to defend themselves except stones,” Hassan said. But added the stone pelting should not become a tradition or culture.

Jamaat is part of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) led by Geelani, who has his own political party Tehreek-i-Hurriyat. Geelani fell apart from the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s APHC over the People’s Conference, led by Sajad Gani Lone, participation in the 2002 elections.