Shah Seeks Postponement Of Hurriyat’s Pak Visit

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SRINAGAR (ONS)- Urging postponement of the proposed the Hurriyat Conference (M) leaders’ visit to Pakistan, senior Executive Council member and Democratic Freedom Party chairman, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Saturday said the visit would not be fruitful in view of the upcoming general elections in that country.

“Pakistani politicians and leaders are preparing for National Assembly elections and most probably in December there will be a caretaker government in the country. Most leaders and politicians across the political spectrum will be busy in electioneering and Hurriyat   visit would not be fruitful,” Shah told KNS, adding he was grateful to Pakistan government for its invitation.

“I am not in favor of a visit for the sake of visit. Although we will be treated as special guests and everyone will welcome us but the political leadership of the country would be preoccupied with their own issues, so it would be wiser to postpone the visit till elections in Pakistan are over,” Shah said, adding that he had otherwise endorsed the visit in principle.

He said he had already communicated his views to the Hurriyat (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and members of the Executive Council during its recent meeting through the party general-secretary, Muhammad Abdullah Tari.

The DFP chairman said he would not accept Indian nationality for obtaining a passport to visit Pakistan. “I won’t declare myself as Indian in the passport application form. If the government is serious towards solution of Kashmir issue and result-oriented talks for the purpose, they should allow us to visit Pakistan via Uri on the strength of our state subject certificate. This has been my long time stand and I stick to it”, he said.

He said since Pakistan-administered Kashmir was a part of the state, he did not need any passport to visit the place.

Shah said the proposed visit should happen only after the promised restructuring of the Hurriyat Conference (M). “Ahead of Martyrs’ Day this year, Mirwaiz had told the joint meeting of the Executive and General Councils that restructuring of the conglomerate would be done soon after July 13. But, in spite of a lapse of about four months, nothing of the sort has happened,” Shah told Kashmir Observer.

Asked whether Pakistan’s ruling party would coincidentally utilize Hurriyat (M) leaders’ visit around the election time to improve its poll prospects, Shah said various opposition parties of that country could certainly look at the visit from that perspective. “Paksitani leadership, whether in power or in opposition, have been extending political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination and they would continue it till we secure the right,” he said.

Pertinently, a delegation of Hurriyat (M) led by its chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq,  today left for New Delhi to meet with the Pakistan high commissioner to discuss the modalities for the proposed visit. It includes Maulvi Muhammad Abbas Ansari, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone and Agha Syed Hasan Al Moosvi Al Safavi.

Meanwhile, Shabbir Shah expressed “shock and surprise” at the composition of the delegation saying the Executive Council, of which he was a member, and the General Council had not been consulted to finalize the list.

“A friend from Pakistan telephoned me at about 2 pm to enquire whether I was in Delhi along with the Hurriyat delegation to meet with the Pakistani high commissioner, Salman Bashir, and his deputy, Babar Amin. He said Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, on his way back from Pakistan, was waiting for the Hurriyat team in the Indian capital,” Shah told Kashmir Observer, adding he would raise the issue at the next meeting of the Executive Council.

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