Hurriyat Spurns Shah's Offer For Unification
22 February 2003
The Times of India
Srinagar: The Hurriyat Conference on Saturday spurned the offer of Democratic Freedom Party President Shabir Ahmed Shah to merge with the 25-party amalgam and give him a place in the Executive Committee, the decision making body of the conglomerate. Hurriyat sources said a DFP delegation led by Abdullah Tari met Chairman Abdul Gani Bhat with the proposal but the visitors were given two options for joining the amalgam. The delegation was told that either Shah should come in through People's League, earlier headed by Shah, or the DFP should join the General Council of the amalgam, they said. However, the Hurriyat constitution bars any general council member from becoming an executive member, the chairman told the delegation. This is the third time in past three years that Shah has approached Hurriyat for uniting the separatists groups on one platform. Admitting that a party delegation had gone to see Hurriyat leaders, Shah said, 'I do not know the outcome yet.' This was just another reminder that all the separatist leaders should unite under one umbrella at this crucial juncture of the movement, he said. 'I think the outcome of the meeting would be coming in next few days and I do not want to make any further comments that could scuttle the unification process in the beginning,' he claimed.