Geelani Spurns Pak Invite as 'Symbolic Protest'

SRINAGAR: Veteran Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani on Tuesday said he would not attend the 'Eid Milan' function at the Pakistan High Commission on July 21 as a "symbolic protest".

In a statement issued here, Geelani said the joint statement made by Indian and Pakistani prime ministers after their meeting in the Russian city of Ufa last week has failed to mention the "Kashmir problem" which concerns 13 million people.

"The failure of the joint statement to make a special mention of the Kashmir problem indicates callousness towards a human problem that concerns the lives and future of 13 million people living in Indian and Pakistan-controlled parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

"As a symbolic protest, I have decided not to attend the Eid Milan function at Pakistan High Commission in Delhi to which I have been invited."

Pakistan’s High Commission in India invited Hurriyat leaders and other separatists from Kashmir to its Eid Milan party to be held on July 21. At the time, Geelani had said the decision whether to attend the party or not, was yet to be made by the party.

However, today the Hurriyat leader said, “The Kashmir issue is a question of life and death for us. Nobody can take us for granted. And I will not attend the Eid Milan in New Delhi to register a symbolic protest.”

According to sources in Hurriyat Conference (G) said that no member from the amalgam will attend the event.

 “The scheduled Iftar party at the high commission earlier this month, which was to be attended by Hurriyat leaders from various factions, was canceled to create a favourable atmosphere for meeting of the two prime ministers,” the source said.

“It is unfortunate that Kashmir issue was neglected in the (Ufa) meeting. The main issue between the two countries is Kashmir – and they chose not to talk about its resolution. The cancellation of Iftar party was to create a feasible environment for the (Nawaz-Modi) meeting,” Hurriyat sources said.

The meeting of the two premiers has provided a much-needed ice-breaker in Pakistan, India talks. In August 2014, India called off secretary-level talks with 

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