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Mirwaiz tries to regroup Hurriyat

November 19, 2003 18:48 IST

Heeding to the call of unity, 24 separatist leaders on Wednesday turned up at a meeting convened by former Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq to arrive at a broader consensus before taking a final decision on the Centre's offer for talks.

The meeting began shortly past noon. Notable among those present were Hurriyat chairman Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari, Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone, Shabbir Ahmad Shah and Fazl Haq Qureshi.

However, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mohammad Yasin Malik, stayed away.

"Almost all senior separatist leaders were present, which is an encouraging development," Awami Action Committee (AAC) spokesman Shahidul Islam told PTI ahead of the closed-door meeting.

Mirwaiz had called the meeting in his capacity as a religious leader and not as Hurriyat executive member. "Being the Hurriyat's founder chairman, it is his (mirwaiz's) endeavour to see the separatist camp as one unit," Islam said.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Nazir Kashani and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik could not attend the meeting due to personal reasons. Kashani has met with an accident and the JKLF is busy with the death anniversary of its leader Sheikh Hamid, Islam said.

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