Far From The Buzz, Hurriyat Takes A Day Off
24 May 2006
The Indian Express
Srinagar: As the two-day roundtable on Kashmir got underway amidst unprecedented security and a complete shut down, the star absentees of the conference, the separatist Hurriyat leaders enjoyed a day off. 'It was a real holiday for me. Nobody came to bother and I spent the day relaxing with my family,' Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said. 'In fact, I got the time to clear up my desk and clean the drawers.' For the former Hurriyat chairman and president of Muslim Conference, Prof Abdul Gani Lone, it was a day to relax, watch cricket and meet his party members. 'I was at home the whole day. I slept for some time and met people who had come in,' he said. 'Then I watched some old cricket matches. There was an interesting match between Pakistan and West Indies, which Pakistan had won by 22 runs.' Hurriyat leader and chairman of People's Conference Bilal Gani Lone, too, stayed home. For him, it was a day to be spent with his kids. 'After a long time, I got the chance to sit with my kids, play with them and watch television,' he said. He informed The Indian Express that after long he found some time for his account books. 'I am a businessman and I managed some time to go through the accounts today. It was a quiet day.' For Nayeem Khan, it was an opportunity to visit his family home at Pattan, some 30 kilometers from Srinagar. 'Heavy security was deployed in the city,' he said 'and I thought it was better to pay a visit to my family home in the village. I am also into some farming there.' Khan said he was unaware of what happened on the first day of the roundtable. 'I wanted to watch the news, but we have no cable connection in our village,' he said.