Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sajjad dares Geelani

Swears on Quran, says if Geelani proves allegations against him he will quit politics or Geelani has to

NASEER A GANAI

Srinagar, Nov 26: Deeply hurt by Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s comments accusing Peoples Conference of supporting three contesting candidates from Kupwara, Chairman PC Sajjad Gani Lone lashed out at Geelani describing him “a liar, a curse on nation” and challenged him to prove the allegations.

Sajjad said if Geelani’s proves the allegations he would quit the politics.
There is more. He described Geelani as biggest hurdle in Kashmir’s freedom, who in Kupwara is seen as “murderer of Abdul Gani Lone” and said “what Indian agencies cannot do, he (Geelani) can.”
In his press briefing, angry Sajjad said “Geelani, Media in Delhi and India agencies work in tandem.”
He even put his hand on the Holy Quran before full media glare and said “if Geelani proves one allegation, he will quit politics or Geelani has to.”
Sajjad reacted to a press briefing of Geelani which latter had addressed at his residence early in the morning.
Geelani had said: “On the one hand, Shabnam Lone is fighting election as an independent candidate in Kupwara and, on the other; both the brothers (Sajjad and Bilal Gani Lone) are in the separatist camp opposing holding of elections here.”
Geelani said she had an eye on the People’s Conference support in Kupwara and was trying to exploit it.
Three hours after Geelani addressed the press conference; Sajjad hit back at Geelani and hit him hard for his utterances.
Throughout his press briefing he referred Geelani as “ex-MLA Geelani.” “Ex-MLA Geelani, who still draws pension from the State, after coming back from New Delhi has been allowed to address the press conference wherein he has accused the PC of supporting three candidates. It is not matter of politics for me. It is question of my honour and dignity,” Sajjad said.
He said for last one month no separatist leader has been allowed to address the media. “But when Geelani came back from Delhi, he is being allowed to address the media and before he addresses the media, we get a call that you too would be allowed to respond,” he said. “See how these things are being facilitated and see the person who facilitates it,” angry Sajjad told reporters at his residence.
Responding to the allegations he said he has nothing to do with his sister and other two candidates Mohideen Sofi and Engineer Rashid who have decided to contest from Kupwara district. “Geelani is the person who knows my relations with my sister. In fact he several times tried to mend our relations. But I never supported her and Geelani knows it,” Sajjad said, adding if he proves that he ever supported Shabnam, he would quit politics for ever.
He said he has talked to Shabnam twice in ten years. “Once when I had operation and second time when my father Abdul Gani Lone passed away,” he said.
He said if anyone proves he has even seen Engineer Rashid after he decided to contest elections, he would quit politics. He used the same words for Sofi and said he has even refused to enter a house where he had gone to express his condolence when he heard Sofi was there.
He said Shabnam accuses him of sabotaging her election campaign and his workers have been arrested for carrying the boycott campaign. But Geelani has always other opinion.

Sajjad said if brother has to answer for sins committed by his sister then Geelani should also respond why his daughter met George Fernandes or Dr Farooq Abdullah.
He accused Geelani of calling off strike calls during the mass uprising for the sake of his son–in-law Altaf Fantosh. “I don’t say Fantosh should be arrested but then you should also learn to respect sacrifices of others. Your house arrest is really the house arrest but ours is not. This won’t go on and on,” he said. Sajjad said after coming back from Delhi he was expecting Geelani should say something against Dr Farooq Abdullah or Mufti Muhammad Sayeed but he has done nothing of that sort. “Geelani comes back and targets Abdul Gani Lone’s son Sajjad,” he added.
He said after coming back from Delhi, he thought Geelani would call him and show concern about present situation and continuous house arrest of pro-freedom leadership but see “what he has in store and what he has been asked to do.”
He said for years together Indian agencies were targeting Peoples Conference and trying to make it Awami National Conference. “They never succeeded in it. But what Indian agencies cannot do, this man can,” he said.
Geelani, he said objected to his presence in the Coordination Committee even though he was invitee in the CC meeting. “But I kept silence and supported the boycott call,” Sajjad said. He named several candidates including Yasir Reshi, PDP candidate from Sonawari constituency and said Shafi Reshi has accompanied him to polling booths where re-polling took place.
“Shafi Reshi is close associate of Geelani,” Sajjad said.
He said he has convened the press conference for his people not for the “ex-MLA Geelani.”
He said it was not the first time that Geelani has embarrassed Kashmiri nation. “It was none other than Geelani who in the TRC rally divided the nation at the crucial juncture by proclaiming himself as the sole leader,” he said.
“Now, either I will remain in politics or Geelani will remain,” he said. He swore on the Holy Quran by putting his hand and said he has no relations with any of the candidates named by Geelani and has not supported them by any means.
He said if the Geelani swears on the Quran and the candidates as well stating Sajjad has in any manner supported them, he would quit politics or else Geelani should quit.
He said when Geelani has been allowed to address the press conference, then he should also visit Kupwara on Thursday and call for election boycott. “If we have not succeeded, let him show his skills,” he said. He said his sister’s candidature was not made an issue by any one in Kashmir except Delhi based media and now Geelani, back from Delhi has made it an issue.
“Indian agencies, Delhi press and Geelani work in tandem,” he said. He described Geelani as the biggest hurdle in freedom. “As long as he is around dawn of freedom is distant dream,” he said.
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