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Geelani faction turns down Pak invitation

Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar | May 29, 2005 17:12 IST
Last Updated: May 29, 2005 21:31 IST


The hardline All Parties Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Sunday declined Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's invitation to visit that country.

After an extended session of the various constituents of the breakaway APHC, which insiders say was stormy, Geelani told newsmen at his uptown Hyderpora residence that his faction had declined the invitation as such a visit would be "futile and not result oriented".

"The problem lies in Kashmir and not in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. So we have decided that we will not go there on," Geelani told journalists.

It must be recalled that Islamabad had faxed individual invitations to all the senior separatist leaders to visit Pakistan on June 2 so that a dialogue aimed at resolving the Kashmir issue can be initiated.

The moderate APHC faction headed by Mirwaiz Omar Farooq has accepted the invitation and has already announced a five-member visiting team, the JKLF has also accepted the offer and its chairman Mohammad Yassin Malik would lead a 17-member JKLF delegation that would visit Pakistan on June 2.

Shabir Ahmad Shah chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party has also accepted the invitation and is presently putting together an intra-Kashmir group representing all the three regions of the state.

"I have absolutely no problem traveling with other separatist politicians provided the travel brings in azadi to Kashmir. If they are able to get azadi after visiting Muzaffarabad and Pakistan they would find me waiting with garlands to receive them," he said.


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