Srinagar, Nov 15: (GNS) National Conference (NC) on Wednesday said Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani was accountable to people for “his failure to convert thousands of sacrifices into a concrete, acceptable resolution”. It said Geelani had a personal political history as a former MLA that “defied his moral sermons” about the mainstream.

In a statement issued to news agency GNS, NC said, “It was unbecoming of Geelani and his faction of Hurriyat to issue mercenary press statements against National Conference at the behest of PDP at a time when the State was faced with unprecedented challenges to its political identity and special status due to the PDP-BJP alliance.”

“For Ex-MLA Syed Ali Shah Geelani to think that he is beyond any accountability is ridiculous and conceited,” NC spokesperson said. “He (Geelani) is more accountable to the people of Kashmir than anyone else. Thousands of young men in Kashmir sacrificed their lives based on a political sentiment and not for Ex-MLA Geelani’s personal political agenda against the National Conference.”

“These sacrifices were not made so that Geelani could finally use the blood of our young to enter into covert, quid-pro-quo deals with the establishment and the PDP-BJP alliance against NC. We understand instructions have been passed to conceal PDP’s sell-outs as a price for the NIA taking it easy on Geelani’s family but the people of Kashmir cannot be fooled anymore. There is a limit to hypocrisy and deceit and our advice to Geelani Sahab is to openly and formally join the PDP now rather than being a proxy for the political party”, the spokesperson said.

NC reminded the veteran separatist leader that he had taken multiple oaths as a former MLA under the same democratic mainstream political system that he now abuses and was initially opposed to resigning as an MLA as evidenced by history. “Even during the period in our history when the entire Kashmiri nation was struggling for their political identity and rights, Geelani chose to contest elections and became a part of the State’s Legislative Assembly.”

“His arrangements with the Janta Party and the Indian National Congress at various crucial junctures in history are a matter of public record. Geelani Sahab should know that history doesn’t start from 1989 and his own political history as a former MLA is as open to scrutiny as anything else. One fails to understand how the same system was noble and patriotic when Geelani was an MLA and how the same system is evil and treasonous when he decided to choose a path of violence on the shoulders of our youth,” the spokesperson added.

NC said Hurriyat (G)’s “open, brazen bidding” on behalf of covert agencies to save Geelani’s son-in-law from the clutches of NIA is “another shameless and dark chapter in our history”. “If Geelani Sahab can go to any extent to save his son-in-law and other family members from facing accountability for their questionable financial dealings, why can’t the people of Kashmir exercise their fundamental right to seek answers from him?”

“More recently, Geelani played a pivotal role in facilitating the extension of GST to J&K as he openly termed it as a non-issue and stooped to the extent of warning the business and traders’ community from agitating on an issue that concerned our fiscal and political autonomy,” the statement said. “That too was a sell-out he made to save his son-in-law, Altaf Funtoosh (and consequently himself) from being exposed for shady pecuniary dealings that run into crores of rupees.”

NC said while thousands of families sacrificed their sons and are now faced with abject poverty and penury, “Geelani and his ilk have amassed millions in property and assets under various trusts and shell organizations”.

“While Ex-MLA Geelani has a democratic right to seek accountability from others, everyone else has a similar right to question the grossly disproportionate assets of his family members and also understand the basis of the PDP-BJP government’s benevolence on his grandchildren – one of whom was given a customized, plump job at SKICC in violation of all possible recruitment norms and rules,” the NC spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said National Conference was a party that sought validation and endorsement from the people of the State and not from intelligence agencies and “brigadiers”. “Our history and the valiant struggle of our founder is a matter of public record and our support at the grassroots level bears testimony to our commitment to uphold the honour and dignity of the State. We don’t require certificates from Ex-MLA Geelani and are least bothered about his prejudiced, mercenary press statements but it is tragic that the blood of our youth is being sold to facilitate a personal agenda. Nothing could be more treacherous,” the NC spokesperson said. (GNS)