Pak high commission’s Iftar invite being blown out of proportion: Hurriyat | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Pak high commission’s Iftar invite being blown out of proportion: Hurriyat

As few sections in the political spectrum strongly reacted to separatist leaders claiming they had received invitations to the annual Iftar party hosted by the Pakistan High Commission, moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said he was astonished over the “hue and cry”.

india Updated: Jun 25, 2016 17:00 IST
File photo of Pakistan high commissioner to India Abdul Basit with Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
File photo of Pakistan high commissioner to India Abdul Basit with Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.(HT File Photo)

As few sections in the political spectrum strongly reacted to separatist leaders claiming they had received invitations to the annual Iftar party hosted by the Pakistan High Commission, moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said he was astonished over the “hue and cry”.

“To blow out of proportion this simple invitation for a social event and present it out of its context speaks about the mental bankruptcy of such elements,” he said while delivering his customary address after the Friday prayers.

On Saturday, the Janata Dal (United) dubbed the invitation a “diplomatic failure” and attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for extending a hand of friendship to Pakistan.

“This is a diplomatic failure. We attend their birthday parties and eat cake. And they are involving the separatists. It is very clear what their intensions are. They made tall claims during the election campaigns on dealing with these issue,” party spokesperson Ajay Alok told ANI.

Alok was referring to Modi’s unannounced detour to Lahore in December last year while on his way back from Afghanistan to wish Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, on his birthday. Sharif was at the airport to receive Modi when he landed.

Separatist leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, were invited by the High Commission for the annual Iftar party in New Delhi on June 25. Most of the top and middle-rung separatist leaders from both factions of Hurriyat Conference as well as the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front are also on the guest list.

The annual party has been a constant cause for consternation as the Pakistan High Commission regularly invites separatists leaders for the event.

Last year however, the party was cancelled to ensure that the meeting between Modi and Sharif on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Russia’s Ufa took place without a hitch.

However, a meeting between the Hurriyat leaders and the Pakistani envoy in August last year led to India calling off proposed foreign secretary-level talks between the two nations.

‘BJP has an ostrich syndrome’

Farooq further accused the BJP of ignoring the obvious and asked the Central government to accept “historical realities” and initiate a meaningful dialogue with the state and Pakistan.

Farooq referred to Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement in Jammu recently that people of the state had no role to play in the resolution of Kashmir issue and said it showed her “ignorance”.

“Kashmir is not an administrative, electoral or a law and order issue but an internationally accepted political issue involving the political future of the people of the state,” he said.

“The BJP leadership should come out of its self illusions about Kashmir… and understanding the fundamental political as well as historical realities about Kashmir, it should adopt realistic policy and initiate a meaningful dialogue with the people of Kashmir and Pakistan for the resolution of Kashmir issue,” he added.

He also condemned the continued restrictions on the movement of separatist leaders and said “such tactics can neither cow down the resistance (separatist) leadership nor suppress the peaceful struggle of the people”.