Mirwaiz Invites Geelani, Malik For Eid, Seeks To Forge Hurriyat Unity

Mirwaiz Invites Geelani, Malik For Eid, Seeks To Forge Hurriyat Unity

3 September 2010
Times of India
M Saleem Pandit

Srinagar: Attempting to forge the elusive unity between the various separatist groups in Kashmir, the chairman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on Friday invited the hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and JKLF's Yasin Malik, to attend the Eid congregation next week. The All-Party Hurriyat Conference ( APHC) had split in 2003 when Geelani had slammed the People's Conference of Abdul Ghani Lone, one of the constituents of the Mirwaiz conglomerate, for fielding proxy candidates in the 2002 assembly elections. Geelani was against participation in the elections. Addressing a congregation at Jamia Masjid on the last Friday of Ramzan, the Mirwaiz said, 'I invite Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Yasin Malik to join me for Eid namaz to demonstrate unity of various separatist groups.' In the same breath, he asked people to celebrate Eid without fanfare in view of deaths of 65 people in the ongoing turmoil. While it's not known whether Geelani and Malik will take up the Mirwaiz's offer, there remains a great deal of mutual suspicion between the hawks and the moderates, and to some political analysts, the Mirwaiz's proposition does not amount to anything more than a trial balloon. The Mirwaiz, who had earlier given a four-point charter of demands for resolution of the Kashmir issue, added another five demands, all of which were similar to those made by Geelani on August 31.


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