March 2006 News

Umar Farooq arrives

29 March 2006
The Pakistan Tribune

Islamabad: Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq reached here Wednesday on a personal visit, his third since June last year when he visited Pakistan after crossing the Line of Control along with other Kashmiri separatist leaders. Farooq, who was accompanied by his wife, went to downtown Rawalpindi to offer condolences over the demise of his aunt who died last month. Mirwaiz and his wife would also visit the mausoleum of his grandfather - Mirwaiz Muhammad Yusuf Shah in Muzaffarabad. While his political engagements have not been made public as yet, Farooq, who heads the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), a grouping of separatist parties from Jammu and Kashmir, is expected to meet Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri. He will also meet leaders from Azad Kashmir and the chairman and members of the parliamentary committee on Kashmir. Farooq was in Pakistan last week to address the World Social Forum (WSF) meeting in Karachi. He participated in a debate on Kashmir where he backed Musharraf's proposals on self-rule for Kashmir besides reiterating his own idea of a United States of Kashmir as one of several propositions to settle the over five-decade-old dispute between India and Pakistan. Farooq's grandfather, Mirwaiz Yusuf Shah, had migrated from Jammu and Kashmir to settle in Pakistan in October 1947. In 1944, Shah had played host to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, in Srinagar.


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