Srinagar: Senior-most separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has decided to quit Chairmanship of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) alleging that the amalgam was ailing due to its members’ “mismanagement”.
APHC is an alliance of over two dozen social-political and religious organisations.
In an audio and press statement to media, Geelani said he has decided to distance himself from APHC “keeping in view its present situation”.
“I announce my complete distancing from this forum (APHC),” he said in an audio statement, sounding much better than his earlier state of health in the winters.
In a detailed two-page letter that followed, Geelani said he, even after being under home arrest, had tried his best to contact the members of APHC, who were not arrested after August 5, but “no one responded.”
“Now that today you have felt the heat of being questioned, that the veil is slipping of your financial irregularities, and you fear losing your chairs, you have started to convene meetings and support an unconstitutional decision thereby setting a strange example of unity,” Geelani said while addressing the members of APHC in the letter.
He went on lambasting the APHC members: “Respected fellows! In 2003, you people forced me to take up the leadership of APHC and wanted me to remain its lifelong Chairman. The performance and mismanagement of this forum was repeatedly ignored by dubbing them as ‘acts in larger interest of the movement’. The pressure by government authorities, persistent arrests, financial issues, and personal weaknesses, never allowed us to set up a strict system of accountability in APHC. But now you are not just crossing boundaries, you are announcing an open rebellion against the (APHC) leadership.”
Geelani added: “Keeping in view the current situation, I announce my complete distancing from the APHC.”
“I cannot be held answerable for the performance of the members of this forum. You people are free to decide for yourselves. Old age and physical weakness have neither dented my spirit nor my mental capabilities. Till I die, I will always remain steadfast against the ‘Indian occupation’ and will continue to guide my people,” he added.
“Mr Syed Abdullah Geelani will continue to remain my representative in PaK and other countries,” he said.
“I am thankful to those people who helped me taken an important decision at the fag end of my life. If I have committed any mistakes, or hurt anyone by my words or deeds, I request for your forgiveness,” he concluded.