Geelani, Mirwaiz To Attend

SRINAGAR – Both factions of the Hurriyat Conference have expressed happiness at the resumption of Indo-Pak talks and announced their willingness to join dinner being hosted by Pakistan high commission later this week.

Hurriyat Conference (M) held a meeting of the executive council at the Mirwaiz Manzil in which Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Ghani Lone, Musadiq Adil, Maulana Masroor Abbas Ansari and Mukhtar Ahmad Waza participated.

The meeting discussed the proposed Indo-Pak meeting of National Security Advisers and the recent escalation of hostilities at the Line of Control and its fallout on Kashmiris living on both side of the divide.

Accepting the invitation from Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit, the participants stated the a high-level Hurriyat delegation headed by Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq would attend the reception hosted for Sartaj Aziz. 

“We had a meeting today and we have decided to go to the dinner. We welcome the talks and believe that dialogue is the only way toward peace,” Mirwaiz Umar, head of Kashmiri pro-independence faction Hurriyat (M), said. 

Mirwaiz also said that he hoped the Indian government had realized that calling off the talks last year, after a similar meeting, was a missed opportunity for normalizing relations between the two countries. 

“We want to strengthen the dialogue and any discussion without Kashmir, between India and Pakistan is futile. So this is a good step in the right direction,” he said. 

Syed Ali Shah Geelani, also accepted the invitation. 

Geelani had turned down an earlier invite to an Eid Milan at the Pakistani High Commission after mention of the Kashmir dispute was omitted from a statement by the Pakistani and Indian premiers in Russia in July, at the meeting that led to these security talks. 

“We will brief the Pakistanis of the situation in Kashmir and urge them to have a more consistent policy on Kashmir and further highlight the issue through diplomatic channels,” Geelani’s party stated on Wednesday. “It is a good step and we welcome it.”

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