SRINAGAR: Few days after a sting operation by a TV channel purportedly showed separatist leader Nayeem Khan acknowledging receiving funds from Pakistan and Hafiz Saeed to foment unrest and burn schools in Kashmir, Hurriyat Conference led by hardline Syed Ali Shah Geelani Saturday suspended the separatist leader’s party National Front from the conglomerate while Nayeem in his first reaction to the sting operation claimed that video is “doctored and fake”.
“Nayeem Khan’s National Front is suspended from basic membership of Hurriyat conference. The suspension will come into force with immediate effect in Srinagar and Hurriyat chapter of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) in Muzaffarabad,” Geelani said today.
He said in pursuance of special power vested in him as chairman of the conglomerate and until the clarification of all related issues come to fore, the membership of National Front will remain suspended. “It is my moral duty and as a supreme head of forum, I am obliged to fulfill the assigned duties”.
Nayeem Khan and two other separatist leaders Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bita Karatey and Gazi Javed Baba, had in sting operation by India Today TV purportedly acknowledged of receiving money from Pakistan government, Hafiz Saeed and militant groups for fomenting trouble and unrest in the Valley.
Nayeem was Geelani-led Hurriyat’s provincial president, Jammu.
Geelani said Kashmir movement is an indigenous struggle of people of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan is a prime party to the issue and supports Kashmiri on political and moral grounds.
Admitting that they need resources, he said, “We mostly raise all funds from local sources to pursue our movement”.
On allegations that last year’s unrest was Pakistan-sponsored, Geelani said, “It was neither pre-planned nor instigated by Pakistan. It was a spontaneous reaction from people after killing of Hizb commander Burhan Burhan and his colleagues and subsequent civilian killings by force personnel.”
“During five months long uprising, people were killed and maimed and many lost eyesight. People are not doing it just for fun but for freedom,” he said.
Alleging that Indian media is biased, Geelani said, “They are working for Indian agencies and as mouthpiece for fanatical forces. India media is promoting colonial mindset and is hellbent to bring bad name to separatist leadership and defame our freedom struggle”.
Meanwhile, Nayeem Khan addressed a press conference in Srinagar today to defend himself in the ‘sting operation’.
Terming the video as “fake and doctored”, he said, “The TV channel has run a doctored video to defame the Kashmir movement. The video has been run in bits and pieces and everything taken out of context. In some shots, I am seen wearing jacket, in other waist coat, in some other summer clothes and some shots are from footage three years back. The wordings and my lip movement don’t match”.
“I dare the TV channel to make the entire but un-doctored video public,” he said.
On funds, Nayeem said they generate funds at the local level.
“Our movement also needs funding, which we generate locally. We have built Bait-ul-maals to fulfill the monetary need of pellet victims. Besides, the NRKs residing outside India are funding to help the victims of violence,” he said.
Terming Pakistan as basic party to the Kashmir dispute, he said it provides moral, diplomatic and political support to people of Kashmir.
“They are bound to do so because they are administered one part of Kashmir,” he said.
The NIA has already launched probe into acknowledgement by separatist leaders in the sting operation of receiving funds from Pakistan and militant groups for fomenting unrest in the Valley and burning schools, panchayat ghars, government institutions and police stations.
An NIA team is in Valley to investigate the matter and question the separatist leaders.