Geelani boycotts Hurriyat executive meeting
29 April 2002
The Indian Express
Srinagar: In the back-drop of heightened war of words between senior leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, the executive committee of the conglomerate met in Srinagar on Monday to ''iron out the growing differences'' among the various constituents of the 23-party amalgam though Jamaat-e- Islami leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was ''conspicuous'' by his absence. Though the exercise was seen as an attempt by the Hurriyat Conference chairman Abdul Gani Bhat to ''keep his flock'' together, he termed the meeting as ''informal'' which was convened to discuss the prevailing situation in the Jammu and Kashmir. ''There are differences among Hurriyat leaders but once we sit together differences will be sorted out,'' Bhat told reporters before the commencement of the meeting at the Hurriyat headquarters. The meeting is seen as an attempt to defuse the war of words between two former amalgam chairmen Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Geelani over the participation in a meeting at Sharjah by the former along with another senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone. While Geelani had accused Farooq and Lone of ''keeping him in the dark'' about the meeting, the Mirwaiz had defended the meeting and said that ''our elders should have talked to us before publicly criticising the meeting''. The Sharjah meeting was held earlier this month in which Lone, Farooq, chairman of Pakistan''s Kashmir Council Sardar Abdul Qayoom and some other expatriate Kashmiri leaders had participated.