//Geelani reiterates demand for self-determination

Geelani reiterates demand for self-determination

Mujaffar Raina, Indian Express, Friday, March 24, 2006 at 0331 hours IST

Srinagar, March 23: Days after Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf met J&K’s mainstream political leaders, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani today said he was ready to join hands with them, provided they join the demand for right to self-determination for Kashmiris.

The Hurriyat hardliner said the Pakistani Government invited those leaders who have strengthened ‘‘the yoke of Kashmir’s slavery. But they (pro-India politicians) cannot be overlooked and one of them (National Conference) has 28 members in the state Assembly, while the other (People’s Democratic Party) also has several members.

“I propose a formula (for unity)— they should demand implementation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir. Geelani— who was speaking at a seminar, ‘Is There any alternative to right to self-determination’, organised by Hurriyat on the eve of Pakistan Day— has always treated the pro-India politicians as ‘‘stooges of New Delhi” and this is perhaps the first time that he has offered them a formula to achieve unity.

Other separatist leaders outside Hurriyat are also invited for unity on same condition.