Yes, I met Mufti, why the fuss: Prof Bhat

Yes, I met Mufti, why the fuss: Prof Bhat

Moazum Mohammad

Srinagar: Former chairman of the united Hurriyat Conference, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, admitted on Friday that he met PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed two days ago but denied anything related to government formation transpired during the meeting.
The meeting was “accidental” and between “two old friends,” said Bhat, who is a senior leader of the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led faction of Hurriyat.
“People are in the habit of creating a mountain out of a molehill. I don’t know who leaked the news,” he told Kashmir Reader.
“I have been meeting Mufti in the past as well. We are old friends,” he said. He, however, couldn’t recall when he had met the PDP patron last time.
The meeting between Bhat and Mufti has raised eyebrows here given that the PDP appears all set to ally with BJP to form government in the state after elections threw a fractured mandate.
Speculations are rife that Bhat advised the PDP patron against joining hands with the BJP. Bhat, however, dismissed the reports as “utter non-sense”.
Asked about the agenda and timing of the meeting, Bhat said, “I swear by Allah that the meeting was apolitical. We did not talk about elections or government formation…these reports are utter non-sense.”
Bhat insisted that elections or government formation “is not my cup of tea.” He said, “I and he (Mufti) share different political ideologies. Politically, we are two different entities. And timing isn’t crucial among friends.”
On Thursday, the Geelani-led Hurriyat had urged media to identify the “senior leader” who had met Mufti after the news appeared in a local daily.
Bhat, who heads Muslim Conference, said he has been meeting Indian and Pakistani leaders.
“There is no harm in meeting anyone as I have been meeting people and Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan,” he added.

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