Hurriyat Prefers Delhi, Pak Media; Shuns Local Press

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Srinagar: It is a fact that the separatist leadership in Kashmir has been caged within the four walls of their homes, but they have not been cut off entirely from rest of the world as their communication channels remain intact. 

Most of them, notably Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is regular face on Indian and Pakistani channels but when it comes to local press, they hit the ‘mute’ button. 

Repeated calls to both Hurriyats—one led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the other by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, remain largely unanswered.

When Kashmir Observer attempted to get in touch with Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in connection with a major story late Friday afternoon, the calls went unanswered despite prior information forwarded to Mirwaiz through his Media Secretary and PRO. Repeated attempts to get in touch with the Mirwaiz on his BSNL number were forwarded to a dead end.

One of his PROs, Tariq Umar Bhat, requested to call after some time as the Miwaiz was ‘busy giving interview to a channel”

Further attempts to reach out to the Mirwaiz didn’t materialize though. His media secretary, Shahid-ul-Islam, advised to wait for some time, as according to him, this time Mirwaiz was writing a press communiqué’.

Further attempts proved as futile as the earlier ones, as Mirwaiz didn’t pick up the phone despite his PRO and media secretary informing him calls from the Kashmir Observer were being missed by him.

Now the twist: Calls after every 10 minutes for about two hours were either left unanswered or were snapped. No courtesy was shown to return the call from the Mirwaiz office either, despite repeated assurances by media advisor and the PRO. Instead media advisor insisted we share the questions with him first.

The ‘mute’ button seemed to have everybody’s favourite in the current situation as most of the mainstream politicians, too, preferred to maintain silence on matters concerning the besieged people under a harsh curfew for the past fourteen days.

Our calls to Hurriyat G Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani met similar fate. The phone from the other side (Hurriyat G Office, media advisor, spokesman and secretary) kept on ringing forwarding the call to nowhere.

The stalemate continued and Kashmir Observer had no choice but to kill the story for the day.

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