September 2004 News

Mirwaiz Meets ISI Officials, Nawaz

26 September 2004
The Asian Age

New Delhi: Founder chairman of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has met former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a host of ISI officials in Jeddah even as the moderate faction set moves afoot to seek derecognition of Syed Ali Shah Geelani's faction from Organisation of Islamic Conference. Mr Farooq, who is presently in Jeddah to perform a religious ritual, has met Mr Sharif and discussed the present situation in Jammu and Kashmir besides the new agenda of Pakistan vis-a-vis Kashmir, Hurriyat sources said. The Hurriyat leader also had a series of meetings with ISI officials as Islamabad rushed the entire Kashmir cell of its intelligence organisation to bring him into the fold of Mr Geelani, who has formed his own Tehrer- e-Hurriyat-e-Kashmir. Sardar Abdul Qayyum, who has been critical of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's Kashmir policy, was also in Jeddah to convince the Mirwaiz for ensuring one voice from Kashmir. In order to woo Mr Farooq, religious head of Muslims in Srinagar, ISI has even offered to support his candidature for Jeddah-based Rabita- al-Aalam-al-Islami (World Muslim League), a post held by Mr Geelani whose termed is to end shortly. However, in light of these efforts by Pakistan, Hurriyat Conference has initiated 'diplomatic' moves to derecognise Mr Geelani's Hurriyat Conference from OIC. Hurriyat Conference has an observer status in this forum. Hurriyat Conference would be making a representation to OIC secretary-general for derecognising Mr Geelani's faction from the world Muslim conglomerate on the plea that he did not represent the wishes and aspiration of the people of Kashmir. Mr Farooq is slated to meet the secretary- general of the OIC and submit his case for the same, the sources said. Although ISI has promised Mr Farooq help in Rabita-al-Aalam-al- Islami but they were not happy with the move of Hurriyat to seek de- recognition of Mr Geelani from OIC. Pakistan had supported the Geelani faction in gaining recognition in OIC last year after the hardline leader parted ways with Hurriyat Conference. The Mirwaiz has been asked to join Mr Geelani as Pakistan wanted THK's acceptability in Western countries which was not possible with Mr Geelani being the head of the organisation for his Jamaat-e-Islami links. ISI has reportedly promised Mr Farooq some financial aid as well help in his business venture in dubai, which is being looked after by his friends, the sources said.


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