KO-Archives,Mar,28,2005:Pak Support To Kashmiris Dwindling,Says Geelani


NEW DELHI — Observing that Islamabad’s support to “Kashmiris’ move­ment” had diluted lately, chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani today was Non-committal about his meeting with Presi­dent Pervez Musharraf when he visits India next month.

“I will think about it when I get an invitation.” the hardline leader was quoted as saying by PTI here when asked whether he would meet Musharraf considering that he boycotted Pakistan Day function at the Pakistan High Commission here on Wednesday.

“I will discuss it with my colleagues. The Majlis-e-Shura (highest decision-making body of his Tehreek-e-Hurriyat conglomerate) will take a decision on it.” Geelani said.

All Pakistani leaders visiting India make it a point to meet sepa­ratist leaders. Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, during his visit here in November, held four hour-long talks with the separatist lead­ers, trying to forge unity among them. When referred to his boycott of Pakistan Day function. Geelani said it was to “register token pro­test” against Islamabad’s decision to go ahead with the Srinagar-Mu­zaffarabad bus service. The separatist leader, however, maintained that he did not wish to have “confrontation” with Pakistan, as the country has been “supporting our cause for the last 57 years.” Gee­lani said the protest was to “give Pakistan a feeling that they have to continue providing moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris’ movement. It is their obligation.” Asked whether he felt that this support had diluted lately. Geelani replied in affirmative.

“It may not be reflected in the statements but it is clear by actions (of Pakistan), he said. He claimed that plying of the bus service was “not favourable to our movement”.

When pointed out to him that Pakistan was going ahead with the bus service despite his “token protest”, Geelani said “governments cannot be stopped from its work. Has government of India been stopped from indulging in atrocities in Kashmir?” A vocal supporter of Pakistan, Gee­lani on Tuesday had lashed out at Islamabad, accusing it of “rubbing salt into wounds” of Kashmiris by deciding to run the bus service.

(Kashmir Observer, 28 March, 2005)

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