WPRs row: Will discuss Mirwaiz’s joint strategy proposal, says Geelani

Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani said on Wednesday that his grouping will discuss proposal of joint strategy mooted by Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to counter New Delhi’ move to settle West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) in the state.
“So far, we have not received any communication,” Geelani said. However, “if we do receive, the proposal will be discussed in our forums.”
“And whatever decision we arrive it will be implemented in letter and spirit,” Geelani told Kashmir Reader from New Delhi where he is undergoing treatment.
A parliamentary panel has recommended Permanent Resident Certificate and right to vote in Assembly elections for the WPRs and displaced persons (DPs) from Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK) besides a financial assistance of Rs 30 lakh per family.
The panel also recommended “de-freezing” of eight seats for the displaced persons and reservation for both groups in the Assembly.
Terming the move a “burning issue”, Hurriyat Conference Jammu Kashmir (HCJK) leader and chairman Democratic Freedom Party Shabir Ahmad Shah said he has already stressed for the need of a joint strategy to thwart any move aimed to change the demography of the “disputed” state.
“All the pro-freedom groups need to join hands to resist tooth and nail any such move. We have to formulate a joint strategy about how to deal with the issue if the government of India goes ahead with their recommendations,” Shah said.
Shah said that HCJK will also hold deliberations with Hurriyat (G) with which it has coordination. He said that talks with other pro-freedom groups, including JKLF will also be held.
“So far, we have not received any communication from any pro-freedom group. We are ready to join hands in the greater interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Shah said that he visited Jammu last week and discussed the issue of granting permanent resident status to refugees with the prominent persons from Bhaderwah, Doda, Rajouri and Poonch.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat (M) will start consultations next week with other pro-freedom groups, civil society members and the Bar Association.
“We will contact all those who matter. This is a serious issue concerning our nation. This is not a personal issue,” Hurriyat (M) spokesman Shahid-ul-Islam told Kashmir Reader Wednesday.
He said the consultations will begin next week after the return of conglomerate’s chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is in Delhi to see his ailing uncle.
The Hurriyat “will not shy away to talk and take other pro-freedom groups on board,” Shahid said.
“Mirwaiz might hold executive meet on his return and form a committee that will hold talks with leaders of other resistance groups and the civil society members. We need a broader consensus on this serious issue,” he added.