Mirwaiz not to attend Kashmir meet
7 March 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will not attend the three-day International Conference on Kashmir in Pakistan due to health reasons. The Mirwaiz's secretary, advocate Shahid-ul- Islam, said that the Hurriyat chairman would not be able to attend the conference as he has an acute fracture in his right ankle. The doctors have advised the Mirwaiz to take complete bed rest and not to undertake hectic movements as it would otherwise further aggravate the problem, he added. The conference has been organised by Pugwash, a European nobel prize winning think-tank engaged in finding solution to contentious issues in south Asia, at Islamabad from March 10 to 12. Former Hurriyat chairman Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat, who is in Pakistan for the past few months, has been nominated by the Mirwaiz to represent the amalgam at the meet. Mirwaiz Farooq has already conveyed the decision of not attending the meet to the Pakistan chapter of the Hurriyat Conference. Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik and People's Conference chief Sajjad Ghani Lone have already left for Islamabad to attend the Pugwash Conference. National Conference (NC) president Omar Abdullah, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and prominent Shia cleric Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, Peoples Democratic Forum (PDF) chairman and State Consumer Affairs Minister Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen are likely to attend the meet. However, it was not clear as yet if breakaway Hurriyat chairman and hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani will attend the conference in Pakistan or not.