No Progress In Hurriyat Unity Efforts

23 May 2008

Srinagar: Two days after Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq invited Syed Ali Geelani, Yasin Malik and Sajad Gani Lone to join hands with them and proceed jointly for forthcoming Pakistan trip, sources said no development has taken place in this regard. “Hurriyat (M) is yet to send any representative to these leaders with unification proposal. Although Hurriyat had called a meeting on Thursday where two teams were constituted to talk with Geelani, Malik and Sajad, but they are yet to start the process,” they said. While Yasin Malik has already left Srinagar for Pakistan, Geelani was in Shopian to address a rally. Mirwaiz Umar confirmed that two teams have been constituted to talk with the three leaders. “We’ve made a commitment at martyrs graveyard and we stand by it. We called a special meeting of Hurriyat yesterday and constituted two teams.” Asked whether they have contacted any of the leaders among the three, Mirwaiz evaded direct answer. “We’ve approached them, but it is premature to say anything at this stage. What all I can say this time is that we are trying our best for unification.” Sources said that senior Hurriyat (M) leader Shabir Ahmad Shah has been assigned the task to talk with the trio. When contacted, Shah said he didn’t talk to any of the leaders yet. “I’ve not talked to anybody. There are some misunderstandings and we’ll try to sort them out.” However, Shah said that Hurriyat is trying to contact all the leaders who are outside the conglomerate. “We don’t want only Geelani sahib, Malik sahib and Sajad sahib to join, but people like Bilal Sidique and all other pro-freedom leaders should come to a single platform. We’ll also talk to Jamat-e-Islami,” he added. A top pro-freedom leader wishing anonymity told Greater Kashmir that unification proposal has several roadblocks. “There were only seven executive council members when Hurriyat came into existence in 1993. However, since then Sheikh Abdul Aziz, Bilal Gani Lone, Faz-ul-Haq Quershi and Aga Syed Hassan have been included in the executive council.” “If unification proposal comes, then Hurriyat (G), JKLF and Sajad Lone will also demand elevation of more members into executive council which is practically difficult. Either Hurriyat (M) has to demote the members who were elevated at later stage to the executive council which again can create a division,” he said, adding, “Geelani is against any kind of talks with India, unless it accepts Kashmir as a disputed territory.” Despite repeated efforts Geelani wasn’t available for his comment.