Pak Efforts To Unite Hurriyat Fail

Pak Efforts To Unite Hurriyat Fail

27 November 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Pakistanís efforts to unite the two factions of separatist Hurriyat Conference in Kashmir have failed despite closure of one of their head offices three months ago by Government in Islamabad to force them to merge together. Pakistan has been making its efforts to unite two rival factions of Hurriyat Conferences led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Omar Farooq to present a united platform for separatist groups in Kashmir ahead of 2014 when elections are being held in the State. Pakistan in a bid to unite the two factions of Hurriyat Conference closed down one of the offices of the Hurriyat Conference in Islamabad three months ago. Since then, the two factions are operating from same office with Yusuf Naseem, representative of Mirwaiz faction of Hurriyat Conference and Ghulam Mohammad Safi, representing Geelani faction of Hurriyat Conference, issuing statements jointly signed by them. But in Kashmir valley, the efforts to unite the two factions have failed as sources say neither of the factions wants unification. Earlier, Geelani was offered to be the spiritual leader of the joint Hurriyat Conference and Mirwaiz its chairman but Geelani has reportedly turned it down as it would have made Mirwaiz more powerful. Even foreign policy adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz who met the leaders of the both the factions of Hurriyat Conference early this month in New Delhi also stressed for unification of Huriyat factions but it failed to bring them together on the common platform. Now, in order make a last ditch effort, Pakistan is proposing the two factions to form a coordination committee of two Hurriyat factions. Each faction will send four members to the coordination committee. Sources in the Hurriyat Conference, however, said that even if the coordination committee is formed it will take lot of time as there is mistrust between the leaders of the two factions. Geelani is averse to the presence of a couple of moderate Hurriyat leaders in the fold and Mirwaiz does not want to let them off. Pakistanís earlier efforts in 2008 at the peak of the summer unrest in 2008 failed to unite Hurriyat Conference factions despite untiring efforts by separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah. Shah held series of meetings with the leaders of the both the factions at the behest of Pakistan but failed when the two factions were about to reunite. Sources said that since the formation of Government by Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Government has thrown its weight behind hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Earlier when Musharaf was in power in Pakistan, he had thrown his weight behind Mirwaiz and the Peopleís Party lead Government followed the suit.