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Hurriyat factions meet Musharraf

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | April 17, 2005 22:49 IST
Last Updated: April 17, 2005 23:25 IST

The moderate and hard line factions of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference, led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani, respectively, met Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf individually on Sunday evening at the Pakistan House in New Delhi.

They placed before him their points of view on the ongoing talks between India and Pakistan. The disunity among the factions came to the fore during the meetings, with the Geelani faction opposing the confidence-building measures between India and Pakistan and the moderate faction welcoming them.

Interestingly, Musharraf spent more time with the Hurriyat factions than he did either at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium or with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

Speaking to, the Mirwaiz said Musharraf has invited his faction to Pakistan.

"President Musharraf said he would be waiting for us in Pakistan and we would be free to meet anyone we wish to—even separatist groups and those wielding guns," Farooq said.

A general council of the Hurriyat would meet later this week to discuss the talks between the Hurriyat Conference and Musharraf.

On Musharraf's efforts to unite the Hurriyat factions, he said he told Musharraf that it was an internal matter. "It has nothing to do with Kashmir. It is for us to sort out the differences."

He said he was not opposed to the CBMs. Besides Srinagar-Muzaffarabad, other traditional routes that existed before 1947 – Jammu-Sialkot, Uri-Kotli (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and Rajouri-Skordu - should also be opened, he added.

The Mirwaiz said he was satisfied with his meeting with Musharraf.

Veteran pro-Pakistan leader Geelani claimed he had drawn Musharraf's attention to the atrocities and human rights' violation in Kashmir.

"We told him unless the core issue of Kashmir is addressed, there is no point in having confidence-building measures, like the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service," he said.

When asked if he was satisfied with the meeting, he said, "There is nothing called satisfaction or dissatisfaction. I merely put across my points of view."

He said he was  not opposed to unity with the other faction. "But, we would like them to join us."

Also read:

Redrawing of borders not possible: PM              

Talks were positive: Musharraf


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