Luv Puri

Islam has no connection with terrorism, he says

Dialogue should be for uniting the peopleI have been denied my right to speak

Jammu: Chairman of the Tehreek-ul-Hurriyat Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Sunday opposed any communal division of Jammu and Kashmir. In an interview here, he said dialogue should be for uniting the people and not otherwise.

Asserting his democratic right to speak, Mr. Geelani said: "I have been denied my right to speak. You may differ with me but obviously no democracy can deny one's right to peacefully articulate oneself." [Shiv Sainiks disrupted a press meet he was addressing here on Saturday].

He said his right to meet the press was "denied to me."

He was one of the few separatist leaders who had spoken earlier in favour of American or international intervention on Kashmir. But now he seemed to have changed his mind: "What justice would any superpower provide us. The situation in Iraq, Afghanistan is a by-product of imperialist designs and one has to revise his or her political thinking in the contemporary context."

He said Islam "has no connection with terrorism" and in fact enjoined equal respect for other faiths.