Pak snub to moderate separatists

Pak snub to moderate separatists

11 March 2010
The Daily Excelsior


NEW DELHI-SRINAGAR: Apparently trying to dabble in internal rivalry in the Hurriyat, Pakistan has invited hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani as the ‘Chairman’ of the amalgam along with six other Kashmiri separatist leaders for a meeting in Islamabad later this month. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has sent an invitation to seven Kashmiri separatist leaders including Geelani,a hardline leader; Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, a moderate; President Kashmir Bar Council Mian Abdul Qayyum, Shabir Shah, JKLF Chief Yaseen Malik, firebrand woman separatist leader Aasiya Andrabi and Shia leader Aga Syed Hassan, according to Hurriyat sources today. Surprisingly, Geelani has been referred to as ‘Chairman’ of Hurriyat Conference-a major point of difference between the Mirwaiz and Geelani factions, in a virtual snub by Pakistan to moderate separatists who consider the Mirwaiz as the Chairman of the secessionist outfit. Ironically, Pakistan chose to invite Shah and Andrabi despite the former being in jail for his alleged involvement of anti-national activities and the latter eluding the police in connection with her alleged role in spreading enmity. Prominent leaders like Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone have not been invited. The Mirwaiz was out of the country in Jeddah to perform Umrah (mini Haj) and no one from the Geelani camp was willing to comment on the developments. Meanwhile, Chairman of the breakaway Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani today said no lasting peace in the south-Asian region was possible without addressing the Kashmir issue. Addressing those who had come to receive him on his arrival from Delhi this afternoon, Mr Geelani urged people to hold peaceful demonstrations after Friday prayers against the alleged human rights violations by the security forces. He appealed to people, particularly youths, to hold peaceful demonstrations against these atrocities in their respective areas. ‘’Please do not hurl stones during demonstrations,’’ he urged. Mr Geelani further said no peace was possible in the region without addressing the Kashmir issue. ‘’We are not against the dialogue process,’’ he said, adding that these should be result-oriented, involving all the three parties - India, Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir - to the dispute for which lakhs of people have sacrificed their lives since 1947. Bilateral talks between any two parties on the issue would not yield any result as has been witnessed in the past, he observed. A spokesperson of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH), a constituent of the HC, Aiyaz Akbar said Mr Geelani visited the house of Wamiq Farooq, a nine-year-old boy who was killed after he was hit by a teargas shell in the head at Rajouri Kadal in the downtown city last month. The spokesperson said Geelani also visited Zahid Farooq, who was killed by Border Security Force (BSF) at Brain Nishat last month.(Agencies)


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