LAHORE: Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani on Tuesday refused to attend an Eid Milan party arranged at the Pakistani High Commission on grounds that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif didn’t raise the Kashmir issue during his meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Ufa, Russia.
Pakistan’s High Commission in India had invited the Hurriyat leaders on July 21 to an Eid Milan party. High Commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit said that there was nothing unusual or unprecedented in the invitation. He said that Pakistan has always provided the diplomatic, political and moral support to the Kashmir movement and will continue to do so.
However, Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Geelani has refused to attend the party on grounds that Nawaz Sharif didn’t take up the Kashmir issue with Modi. Sources claimed that Hurriyat Conference wanted to give a message to Pakistan government that Kashmir and Kashmiris cannot be taken for granted.
Indian media had earlier claimed that the Hurriyat Conference had refused to join the Eid Milan party while the other prominent leaders of the Kashmir movement including Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik and Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq denied having received any invitation from the Pakistani High Commission. They said that they can only decide over it once they receive the invitation.
Revered analysts including Wajahat Saeed Khan, Salman Ghani and Shahid Latif had criticized Pakistan government for having lost the initiative by not discussing Kashmir issue with the Indian prime minister in Russia especially given that it was India this time that had asked for the meeting and resumption of the talks.
Yaseen Malik s wife Mishal Malik had also criticized the government for not highlighting the Kashmir issue in the joint declaration issued by Pakistan and India on Nawaz-Modi meeting.