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Maulvi Abbas Ansari new Hurriyat chief
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar |
July 12, 2003 12:46 IST
Last Updated: July 12, 2003 15:05 IST
Maulvi Abbas Ansari was on Saturday elected as the chairman of the All Party Hurriyat Conference.
He replaces Abdul Gani Bhat. Bhat told rediff.com that the election of Ansari was 'unanimous'. But firebrand Jamaat-e-Islami leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani abstained from voting.
Ansari replaces Muslim Conference Chairman Abdul Gani Bhat who completed two years as Hurriyat head earlier this month.
Ansari's election as the chairman took place at an unscheduled meeting of the Hurriyat.
Ansari, who becomes the first Shia leader to head the 25-party separatist conglomerate, had admitted to be in race for the top post of the amalgam during a recent interview.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik was also thought to be in contention for the chairman's post.
Conspicuous by their absence were Malik and Shiekh Ali Mohammad of the Jammat-e-Islami, but Ghulam Rasool Dar Eidi represented the JKLF at the elections.
Jamaat was not represented in the meeting.
"My first priority will be to unite all the constituents of the Hurriyat. The general council and the executive are meeting in next few days," Ansari told rediff.com. "We will take the ongoing movement to its logical conclusion."
"The togetherness of the Huriyat is an asset with us. The Hurriyat is determined to swim together and if need be we will also sink together," outgoing chairman Bhat said
The meeting was attended by six of the seven executive members. including Bhat of the Muslim Conference, Moulvi Omar Farooq of the Awami Action Committee, Ghulam Rasool Eidi of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Bilal Lone of Peoples Conference, Moulvi Abbas Ansari of the Itihadul Muslemeen and Bashir Ahmed Tota of the Peoples League were the others who attended the meet.
Ansari is one of valley's prominent Shia leaders.