Deja Vu? Pakistan Extends Invite to Separatists for National Day in Delhi
SRINAGAR: Pakistan has invited the separatist leaders to attend the ‘Pakistan Day’ function at the country's high commission in the national capital on March 23.
The invitation, which saw India severing her diplomatic ties with Pakistan after the Narendra Modi-led BJP took over the reins of power in New Delhi in 2014, has been sent to both the factions of Hurriyat Conference, civil society members and some journalists.
A spokesman of Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Geelani said the Pakistan high commissioner, Abdul Basit, has invited the Hurriyat chairman, general secretaries, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai and Shabir Shah, provincial presidents, Aga Syed Hassan and Nayeem Khan, besides other leaders to the function.
"We are going to attend the function and we will convey our point of view to Pakistani leaders that the Kashmir issue must be resolved at the earliest," Ayaz Akbar, the Hurriyat spokesman, said.
He said the participation of their chairman Geelani, who suffered a mild stroke last week, will depend on the condition of his health. Geelani is staying in New Delhi for over a month now.
Shahid-ul-Islam, the political advisor of moderate Hurriyat chairman said the Pakistan high commissioner has invited Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and several other senior leaders including executive body members Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone, GM Hubi, Moulana Abas Ansari among others to attend the function.
“We are going to attend the Pakistan Day function and our delegation will be headed by chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. We will discuss the speedy resolution of Kashmir issue with Pakistani leaders at the function,” Shahid said.
The JKLF chief Yasin Malik as well as the Hurriyat leaders, including Geelani and Mirwaiz, have met Abdul Basit, the Pakistan's High Commissioner to India, separately over the last three months at the high commission in New Delhi.
Although what transpired in the meetings remains shrouded in mystery, the Hurriyat leaders have issued statements, claiming that Pakistan remains "committed to providing moral and diplomatic support for resolution of Kashmir issue".
Contrary to the earlier jingoistic reaction, New Delhi has kept mum over these meetings.
(File picture: Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani being welcomed by the Pakistan High Commissioner at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi for a National Day function earlier)