APHC in crisis
Hameed Salak in a report in weekly the Chattan (21 September 2003) commented on the split in the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) "people have realized that Anasri and Geelani both groups are involved in a political struggle. It is unfortunate that at a time when thousands have laid down their lives in the ongoing struggle, Kashmiri leadership is acting in an irresponsible and undemocratic manner. If Ansar’s idea of holding dialogue with Delhi was not in interest of a few in the organization, it should not have been made the pretext to divide Hurriyat. It is unjustified."
The lone bilingual daily Alsafa (16 September 2003) in its lead news reported Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani elected chairman of rejectionist group. "Senior leader, Geelani was elected as chairman of the newly formed group. A meeting was held at Muslim League office in Srinagar, fifteen constituents of APHC, general council, participated. Those who participated in the meeting include Masrat Alam of Muslim league, Firdous Ahmed of Political Movement, Fareeda Behangi of Mass Movement, Yasmeen Raja of Khawateen Markiz, Gh. Mohammed Mir of People’s Movement, Aga Sayeed Hassan Badagami of Angaman Shari Shayan, Asadullah Tantry of Political Freedom Movement, Zia u-Din Bukhari of National Front, Bashir Ahmed Kant of Jamat-I Humdaniya, Gh Rasool Lone of Employees Fedration, Mohd. Shafiq Lone of Employees Conference, Nazir Ahmed Mir of Democratic Freedom League and Gh. Qadir Hagroo of Peoples League. Gh. Nabi Sumji and Dr. Gh.Mohd. Hubbi also participated in the meeting. Convener, Masart Alam, announced Geelani as chairman of the new group. Later, Masrat announced his resignation.
"It is quite unfortunate that what enemy failed to do, our own people did". The Alsafa (17 September 2003) in its lead news gave prominence to the statement of (Chairman, Anasri group), Abbas Ansari who addressed a press conference after an important meeting held at the Hurriyat headquarters under his leadership "Geelani is solely responsible for the split in the Organization. What the enemy couldn’t do, Geelani has done that. Geelani has been sacked form his parent organization Jamat-i-Islami and is expelled from Hurriyat as well. His comeback in Hurriyat is possible only if Jamat consider him again" Ab. Gani Bhat, Umar Farooq and Bilal Gani Lone were present in the meting.
The Alsafa (25 September 2003) in its lead news reported "Rejectionist group (Geelani’s group) asked to explain its position "Ansari group has asked the rejectionist group to explain formation of the parallel group by the latter and made it clear that there would be no dealings with rejectionists henceforth." It continued "There was a meeting of executive council of Hurriyat at Hurriyat headquarters under the leadership of Abbas Ansari. Ab.Gani Bhat. Bilal Gani Lone. Fazl Haq Qureshi and Umar Farooq took part in the meeting.
Indo-Pak relations and Kashmiri concern
In its lead news the Aftab (27 September 20003) reported that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were extremely unhappy at the equivocal speeches by Pakistan President, Parveez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the UN General Assembly.. "People at large and political groups have expressed anger on this, people were optimistic that on this occasion both pledge to resolve all other issues including Kashmir through dialogue but everything went against their aspirations" it continued "the way both countries were heading forward at political, even diplomatic level, had given a hope to people that both come closer and bad times may come to an end. Still, people are expecting both countries to show broadmindedness and continue efforts to make the peace process a success" summed up the report.
The daily Srinagar Times (26 September 2003) gave prominence to the Vajpayee’s speech at UN General Assembly. "Cross-border terrorism and talks with Pakistan cannot go together. It would be betrayal of trust with people of Jammu and Kashmir who participated in the previous elections despite pressure from Pakistan. The whole world termed those elections free and fair. As the UN did not talk to Al-Qaeda and Taliban, similarly we will not talk to terrorists.." While referring to Musharraf’s speech, Vajpayee said Musharraf has openly claimed before the world that his country was backing/supporting terrorism in Kashmir.
Traders Federation and the Government
The Traders Federation expressed its willingness to cooperate with the state government to resolve the issues of revised power agreements and the value added tax (VAT), reported the daily Aftab (30 September 2003) in its lead news "In an emergency meeting, it was decided that Federation would cooperate with the Govt. to resolve the issues through mutual dialogue but latter is yet come forward in this regard. However, officials in the Govt. have said that with the cooperation of traders and of course people, the matter could be worked out easily and it helps the government function smoothly." It continued, "the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), President, Mehbooba Mufti, too has said that revised power agreements should be people-friendly and well within the reach of the poor. Meanwhile, the people have expressed resentment over the revised power fee and there have been protests at many places in the Valley affecting law and order."