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JEHANGIR ALI | 15 JULY, 2015

Geelani Spurns Pak HC Invite For Eid Milan In Delhi

Pakistan Embassy in New Delhi


SRINAGAR: Tehreek-e-Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Geelani Tuesday announced that it will boycott the Eid-i-Milan function of Pakistan High Commissioner to which he had been invited in New Delhi on July 21.

Geelani's Hurriyat, which has been pressing for holding a referendum in Kashmir, said it will stay away from the function as a "mark of protest" against the non-inclusion of Kashmir issue in the joint statement issued by India and Pakistan in Ufa, Russia, recently.

“We are not attending Eid-i-Milan to protest against no mention of ‘Kashmir’ in the joint statement issued by India and Pakistan in Ufa recently,” Ayaz Akbar, the spokesperson of Geelani's Hurriyat said.

Boycotting the function is seen as an implicit message to Pakistan from Geelani, who became one of the reasons for the failure of Agra summit where the two nuclear powers "almost" arrived at a deal over final resolution of Kashmir issue.

Although the Hurriyat hawk has made no secret of his love for Pakistan, his political ideology has evolved over the years, especially after the 2010 unrest during which over 120 civilians, mostly teenagers, were killed to contain a wave of pro-freedom protests across the Valley.

From accession to Pakistan, Geelani has been of late asking India and Pakistan to give the right to self-determination to the people of J&K.

"By refusing the invitation, Geelani has send a clear message to Pakistan that he is not going to change his position on Kashmir issue, which can render the entire dialogue process into a futile exercise, given his popularity in the Valley," a political analyst, who didn't want to be named, said.

A close aide of Geelani told The Citizen that the amalgam will stay away from talks until India and Pakistan "give up their claim" on the state, "Geelani saheb has been telling both countries to pull out their armies and hold a referendum in the state. Unless they don't accept Kashmir as a disputed territory, we will not participate in any dialogue process," he said.

The Pakistan High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, has invited Kashmiri separatist leaders to its mission on July 21 to celebrate Eid-i-Milan at the end of holy month of Ramzan.

Last year, a similar invitation to Hurriyat leaders had resulted in India cancelling the foreign secretary-level talks in Islamabad, pushing the relations between two countries into deep freeze.

"Since the fanatic government of BJP came to power in New Delhi, India is continuously trying to thrust a minus-Kashmir agenda on Pakistan. The joint statement shows that India has succeeded in making her point. It is very painful and every Kashmiri feels its pain,” Akbar said.

At Ufa, the two countries announced a slew of measures that will be taken ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Pakistan next year for attending the Saarc summit on the invitation of his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif.

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