July 2006 News

Hizbul Orders Hurriyat Factions To Merge

3 July 2006
The Times of India

New Delhi: A harsh warning to leader of the 'moderate' Hurriyat grouping Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, purportedly from the Hizbul Mujahideen, to merge his outfit with the hardline pro-Pakistan Syed Ali Shah Geelani faction, has sent the Mirwaiz group into a tizzy. The communication was apparently handed to the Mirwaiz a few days ago. It said: 'We had asked you to refrain from dialogue (with the Indian government) but you didn't listen. It is better for you to isolate yourself from talks, remain in your house and obey Geelani Saheb. In case of refusal, you know what...will happen to you.' Besides sending a signal that they must embrace Geelani's uncompromising anti-India position, the Hizbul letter also warned other leaders of the separatist amalgam to keep away from any dialogue and peace initiatives on Kashmir. 'It appears that Abbas Ansari, Prof (Abdul Gani) Bhat and Bilal Lone are all traitors,' the letter said. Sources said the Mirwaiz has raised the issue with the Pakistan establishment after receiving the Hizbul communication and reportedly requested handlers of the Hizbul, seen to be ISI top brass, to use their influence with the jehadi outfit and restrain it from carrying out its threat. The Mirwaiz also held a closed-door meeting of the Hurriyat Conference in Srinagar on Wednesday to discuss the issue. All leaders, including Abbas Ansari, Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone, were present. It was decided at the APHC meeting that G M Bhat, the general secretary of Umer Farooq's Awami Action Committee, would talk to Geelani on behalf of the APHC leader and work out a solution.


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