Hurriyat meets Saturday, change in team ruled out
19 January 2001
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: A DAY ahead of the crucial meeting of the Hurriyat Conference Executive Council over the delay in issuance of travel documents to its three members to go to Pakistan, chairman of the separatist conglomerate Abdul Ghani Bhat on Friday ruled out any change in the composition of the five-member delegation for the proposed visit. There will be no change in the composition of the team that has been nominated by the executive council to travel to Pakistan, Bhat said here, denying media reports which said the Hurriyat may change the team in view of the Government's reported reluctance to issue passports to certain members. Bhat's comments came as the seven-member Hurriyat Executive Council, highest policy-making body, prepared to meet here tomorrow to discuss its strategy in view of delay in issuance of passports to three members of the delegation. The Hurriyat had announced sending a five-member delegation to Pakistan on January 15 to hold talks with the establishment and militant leaders there to help in the resolution of the Kashmir issue. However, the visit failed to take off as three of them - Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Sheikh Abdul Aziz and Maulana Abbas Ansari - were not issued passports by the Government. Geelani, considered a hardliner, is unlikely to attend the meeting of the seven-member executive council as he is undergoing treatment in New Delhi. Yaseen Malik, who also was in Delhi, returned here today. Bhat said that besides the issue of passports, 'there are many things to be discussed in view of developments taking place'.