Geelani apologizes for ‘unintentional’ leadership comment

August 18th, 2008 - 9:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 18 (IANS) Syed Ali Shah Geelani, senior separatist leader and chairman of the breakaway Hurriyat group, Monday apologized for “unintentional use of words” that might have hurt the feelings of other separatist leaders after his speech triggered a leadership war.Addressing mediapersons at his Hyderpora residence here, Geelani said: “If during my speech at today’s mammoth rally any unintentional use of words by me has hurt the sentiments of any of my colleagues or anybody, I tender my apology for that.

“I never intended to say anything that would hurt sentiments of anybody. I have always preferred unity over individual considerations and if I have used some words that may create or are likely to create a division among our ranks, I sincerely withdraw those words and apologize for the same,” Geelani said.

Addressing a rally here while sharing the dais with leaders of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat, Geelani had asked the crowd whether or not they all accepted his leadership.

This had, according to sources, angered other separatist leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabir Shah and Muhammad Yasin Malik.

Geelani also clarified that his statement about the media during the speech did not intend to target any individual journalist.

“I said the Delhi-based electronic channels and the owners of the print media were acting as part of India’s war machine in Kashmir by blacking out the recent developments here.

“I have not spoken about individual journalists at all. The local journalists who work for the Indian media are part of our society who have to share the joy and grief of this land like other citizens here,” He said.

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