Geelani, Mirwaiz to attend Pak Day function in New Delhi

Srinagar: Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairmen of the two factions of Hurriyat Conference, and other senior pro-freedom leaders will attend the Pakistan Day function in New Delhi next week.

According to Hurriyat (G) spokesman, Ayaz Akbar, Geelani will lead a delegation of the amalgam at the function in Pakistan High Commission, where Pakistan Day function will be held on March 23.

“Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit extended invitation to Geelani Sahab at his Malviya Nagar residence recently. He also briefed the Hurriyat chairman about the Foreign Secretary talks between Pakistan and India held earlier this month in Pakistan. Geelani Sahab received 20 invitation cards for the Pakistan Day celebrations,” Akbar told Kashmir Reader on Wednesday.

A delegation of the Hurriyat (M) led by Mirwaiz will also visit New Delhi to attend the function.

Media advisor to Mirwaiz, Shahid-ul-Islam told Kashmir Reader that the conglomerate has received formal invitation from Pakistan High Commission.

“A meeting is being held Thursday under the chairmanship of Mirwaiz Sahab. The meeting will finalize the list of Hurriyat leaders who will attend Pakistan Day function,” he said.

Mirwaiz “will also have a one to one meeting with the Pakistan High Commissioner during his trip to New Delhi,” he said. [A PTI report quoted Mirwaiz as saying that he would be meeting the Pakistani High Commissioner on Sunday].

Senior leader of Hurriyat Conference Jammu and Kashmir (HCJK) Nayeem Ahmad Khan said that he too has received an invitation from the Pakistan High Commission and that he will attend the function.

“I received the invitation on Tuesday. The Pakistan High Commission has been inviting pro-freedom leaders for last 25 years. And I have always tried to attend the celebrations. This time too, I will attend it,” he added.

A JKLF spokesman said they have not received an invitation from the Pakistan High Commission so far.

In August last year, Narendra Modi-led BJP government called Foreign Secretary-level bilateral talks with Pakistan to protest the meeting of Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit with HCJK senior leader Shabir Ahmad Shah, days before the dialogue had to take place in Islamabad. Foreign secretary Sujatha Singh told Pakistan that it has to “choose between India or separatists” for talks.