Azad unimpressed by Geelani’s peace call

August 6th, 2010 - 3:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) Central minister and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is not impressed by hardline separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s call for peace in Kashmir and the relative calm the valley has witnessed since Wednesday.
“We need to know exactly if the relative calm is due to the curfew or is it due to Geelani’s call,” Azad told IANS when asked how he viewed the hawkish leader’s call for peace to protesters.

Geelani, considered staunchly anti-India and pro-Pakistan, in a surprising move Wednesday made a passionate appeal to young protesters in the valley to desist from stone pelting and damaging public property.

He said that resorting to violence was against Islam and the acts of arson were damaging the “peaceful freedom movement” of Kashmiris.

Barring stray incidents, the valley has remained calm after the 81-year-old leader’s appeal.

According to official sources, the Jammu and Kashmir government is utilising the call from Geelani to tide over the resentment against Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

But Azad is not impressed.

“The effect of Geelani’s appeal would only be known when the curfew is lifted. Till then we’ll assume that the calm is due to the curfew,” the health minister said.

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