Dissident Hurriyat Leaders Boycott PHC Iftar Party
13 November 2003
The Pakistan Tribune
New Delhi: The leaders of Abbas Ansari led Hurriyat faction including Mir Waiz Umer Farooq boycotted the Iftar Party hosted by Pakistan High Commissioner in India, Aziz Ahmed Khan, to protest Islamabad's tacit recognition of Syed Ali Shah Geelani as head of the 23-party conglomerate . According to UNI Molvi Abbas Ansari openly criticised the Pakistan Government for this act and stayed away from the party, which was attended by leaders of religious organisations, diplomats and journalists. Other Hurriyat leaders like Omer Farooq, Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat, Mr Bilal Lone and Yasin Malik also boycotted the Iftar party . Mr Geelani, however, could not attend the party as his flight from Srinagar to Delhi was suspended due to bad weather but his associates attended the party. Supporters of the hard-line leader Ghulam Nabi Sufi and Ghulam Mohammed Hubi were also present . The Pakistan High Commission had addressed Syed Ali Shah Geelani as chairman of the Hurriyat in its invite, which infuriated Molvi Abbas and other moderate leaders. This is for the first time that Hurriyat leaders who have been invited by Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani for talks stayed away from the Iftar party .