Srinagar: In a hard-hitting statement, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group Saturday, warned senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani not to try and act as the conscience keeper of Kashmiris or as the godfather of the separatist movement.
Reacting to Geelani’s Friday statement in which he said a group of local separatist leaders was engaged in talks with the Indian government, Mirwaiz Umer told media persons here: “We take strong exception to Geelani’s statement in which he has tried to malign everybody in order to project himself as the sole conscience keeper of Kashmiris.
“He (Geelani) has no copyright on the movement of Kashmir. He shouldn’t get into fabrication of things that he doesn’t know about. I want to make it clear once for all that nobody is the godfather of the movement which belongs to the people.
“By fabricating things, he wants to belittle all others. Who the hell is Geelani? And by issuing such statements who does he want to get killed now?” said the Mirwaiz, who was visibly surcharged with emotion when he addressed the media conference at his uptown Nigeen residence.
Noting they were “in the process of finding of a solution and we will have to talk as and when required”, he said: “We do not believe in secret talks… whenever we have talked to Pakistan or the Indian government in the past we have done so in the open.
“It is our firm belief that it can only be through dialogue and discourse that a solution to the problem can be found and the sufferings of the people of Kashmir be ended.
“We are not engaged in any dialogue process at the moment. There has been no forward movement on the issue and how does the question of us talking to anybody arise.”
He warned Geelani not to compel them “to come in open as far as your mindset is concerned. Geelani’s group has maligned others to prove himself right which he is not”.
“I want to clear it once for all that there should be talks between India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir.
“Geelani has in past also made such statements. We want to know who does he want killed this time. How can a guy who participated in elections 12 times raise fingers at others? If we talk of history, it will get difficult for them,” he warned.
In his statement Friday, Geelani said two Kashmiri Pandits had approached him in Delhi asking him to engage in direct or indirect talks with the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
While Geelani claimed he had rejected the offer, he said a group of local separatist leaders was already engaged in talks with the Indian government through emissaries.