April 2006 News

Qazi avoids meeting Mirwaiz

5 April 2006
The News International

Islamabad: The first official contact between pro-independence faction of All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and patrons of Kashmir freedom struggle in Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islami, was established Wednesday when Mirwaiz visited JI headquarters, Mansoorah. However, he could not meet JI Ameer Qazi Hussain Ahmad who was in Islamabad. Mirwaiz met with JI Naib Ameer Chaudhry Aslam Salimi, Hafiz Idris and Deputy Secretary General Farid Paracha and discussed matters of mutual interests. According to sources, he was keen to meet Qazi, but he refrained from meeting him to avoid sending a wrong signal to rival pro-Pakistan faction of APHC led by Syed Ali Gilani and other freedom fighter groups, who are opposed to overtly pro-Delhi stance of Mirwaiz group. According to sources, JI Punjab Ameer Liaqat Baloch was also present in Mansoorah but avoided meeting Mirwaiz for the same reasons. Sources said JI leadership was in a fix whether to meet Mirwaiz or not soon after he expressed his desire to visit Mansoorah one day earlier. Qazi left for Islamabad otherwise it would have sent a demoralising message to pro-Pakistan and JI-backed quarters in Indian held Kashmir, sources maintained. They said JI leadership had already conveyed to Mirwaiz that Qazi would not be there, but he insisted to visit there for a short time. Mirwaiz, who is known to have a soft corner for Delhi and has proposed to shun UN resolution to provide a face saving for India while finding Kashmir solution, is keen to gain support of the Pakistan based leadership of Kashmiri freedom fighters for the ongoing peace process. Winning confidence of Jamaat Islami would have given him a big success to take along pro-Pakistan freedom fighter groups, particularly Hizbul Mujahedin inside the Indian held Kashmir. The JI information department tried to hush up the meeting and avoided issuing a press release of the meeting.


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