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Separatist factions worried as UJC chairman Salah-ud-Din tipped to replace ailing Geelani
3/14/2014 11:25:47 PM
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Mar 14: As the health of hardliner separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani deteriorated since last week, followed by speculations regarding Geelani's successor, sources within separatist camps said that United Jihad Council (UJC) chairman Salah-ud-Din may replace Geelani initially operating from Pakistan.
Chairman of his faction (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani who is presently under treatment of Specialized doctors in Delhi according to sources deteriorating health condition of Geelani has given birth to restlessness among all the separatist factions operating in Kashmir and Pakistan occupied Kashmir as well.
Sources said that since Geelani did not nominate anybody from his camp including his son to head the (G) faction after his death, reports suggesting that hardliner united Jihad Council chairman and chief of militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, Salah-ud-Din operating from Pakistan may replace Geelani have sent shock waves among all the separatist leaders.
According to sources, Salah-ud-Din after the hanging of Parliament convict Afzal Guru is forcing all the fragmented separatist camps to work under one banner and shun differences based on ideological clashes.
Sources said that UJC chairman who is considered more hardliner than Syed Ali Shah Geelani among all the separatist leaders has indicated to his close associates that all the separatist factions operating in Kashmir and Pakistan occupied Kashmir will have to work under one group and such an attitude of Salah-ud-Din according to sources is not acceptable to moderate factions of separatists.
Though many names are under consideration to replace Geelani which include his close associate Mohammad Sehrai, his son Naseem Geelani besides Masrat Alam and Dr Qasim Faktoo, however, sources added that keeping in view the further fragmentation among separatist camps due to clash of ideologies, UJC chairman among many separatist circles is considered as a binding force for all the separatist camps in post Geelani scenario.
Sources concluded as witnessed recently that after the hanging of Afzal Guru second major separatist faction operating in Kashmir and Pakistan occupied Kashmir led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq due to differences gave birth to many new factions, there are apprehensions among separatist leaders that after Geelani separatist factions may get fragmented further.
Keeping in view widening rift among separatist camps, sources close to Salah-ud-Din have indicated that UJC chairman may lead all the separatist camps post Geelani and may think of returning to Kashmir as well in near future.
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