Delhi's hardening stand spurs unity talk among separatists

  • Peerzada Ashiq,, Srinagar
  • Updated: Aug 20, 2014 20:24 IST

Hardening of stand by New Delhi over separatists meeting the Pakistan officials, has spurred deliberations between separate separatist groups in the Kashmir Valley and unity efforts are on ahead of the state assembly polls, scheduled later this year.

"We will have deliberations with other groups to form a unity and a joint strategy on common issues to take the struggle forward," said Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) chairman Shabir Shah in Srinagar.

Shah was first to meet Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit in New Delhi on Monday, resulting in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government calling off the foreign secretary-level talks.

Shah said Pakistan officials have "once again asked the separatists to unite". Shah, part of breakaway faction of the moderate Hurriyat faction, headed by Mirwaiz Farooq, is holding parleys with hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani to join his faction.

"Unity is need of the hour. We will get in touch with other groups to have consensus on pressing the that we have known the real fact of the BJP-led government," said Shah.

Hurriyat sources said Shah was once again pushing for unity among different separatists groups, which included factions of the Hurriyat and separatist Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, headed by Yasin Malik.

Sources in the Mirwaiz Hurriyat said its leadership was ready to work with other groups for a common strategy.

Shah has already threatened "vigorous election boycott" campaign. "We have every right to ask voters not to vote. Let the government allow anti-poll campaign, they will see for themselves how many will vote," said Shah.

Meanwhile, the authorities placed Geelani under house arrest as he arrived in Srinagar in the afternoon. He was escorted by the police to his residence, when he has been asked not to venture out.

Former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zafar Akbar Bhat, now part of moderate Hurriyat, has claimed that the BJP even recognised Hizb as a party of Kashmir dispute, when it declared a Ramzan ceasefire during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime. "The BJP-led government through the then home secretary Kamal Panday held talks with armed pro-freedom Kashmir group, which was appreciated by the state department of US, UK, Russia, China and others," he said.

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