December 2005 News

India, Pakistan trying to reconcile Geelani and Mirwaiz?

5 December 2005
The Daily Times
Iftikhar Gilani

New Delhi: Rival Hurriyat Conference leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq are travelling to Saudi Arabia this week in an alleged attempt by the Indian and Pakistani governments to bring about a reconciliation between the two.Mirwaiz has regularly travelled abroad in the past and will represent the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in the extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), where the APHC has an observer status.Geelani's passport was seized in 1983, and he has since been denied permission to travel abroad. However, the Indian government has granted him permission to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj, for which he is scheduled to leave on December 7.President Pervez Musharraf will also be in Saudi Arabia this week and is already scheduled to meet Mirwaiz.Sources say that Musharraf may try to broker s peace between Geelani and Mirwaiz, as a rapprochement between the rival factions of the Hurriyat Conference would enable them to unite in dealing with the Indian government.The president is eager to meet Geelani to understand his point of view on the Kashmir issue, the sources said.


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