SRINAGAR:Three senior separatist leaders, including a Shia cleric, on Wednesday joined Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s Hurriyat Conference faction and warned the J&K government of severe consequences if their political activities were interrupted.
Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmad Khan and influential Shia cleric Aga Syed Hassan announced that they would join hands with the Hurriyat Conference at a press conference held at the hardline separatist leader’s Hyderpora residence here.
The three were part of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference led by cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and quit the alliance earlier this year owing to differences with Mirwaiz. With their entry, Geelani’s Hurriyat has become more powerful.
“Our movement faces a lot of challenges now. We have to face it jointly. We have to jointly fight against India, RSS-BJP combine and mainstream parties in the state,” Geelani, 85, said while addressing the press conference. Asserting that their struggle was not a communal one, he said, “Our struggle is not against the people of India or any nation. Ours is a just struggle,” he said adding that Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute.
He said India was using its military might to hold on Kashmir since the past 67 years. “We will continue our struggle, come what may. The movement cannot be crushed by the force,” he said. He said the Kashmir issue should be resolved as per the UN resolution and praised the Pakistan government’s presence policy on Kashmir.
Slamming the NC, Congress, PDP and Sajjad Lone’s Peoples Conference, Geelani said the leaders of these parties had “sold the nation for power”.