Hurriyat downplays separatist's meeting with Mufti

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jan 02, 2015 21:52 IST

The moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference, headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, is trying to downplay the meeting between People's Democratic Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and senior separatist leader Abdul Gani Bhat.

Its spokesman Shahid-ul-Islam told HT that the meeting was in Bhat's "personal capacity".

"We should not read too much into the meeting. The two have been classmates and have met in the past as well. Even when Mufti Sayeed was in opposition,'' he said.

"Kashmir is a small place and two people of different ideologies can be friends. People from same families have different ideologies, don't we have separatists whose brothers are mainstream politicians (referring to Sajad Lone and hurriyat leader and brother, Bilal Lone),'' he added.

On Thursday, Bhat, who heads the Muslim Conference, a constituent of the separatist amalgam, met Mufti in a rate separatist-mainstream meeting, and allegedly opposed a PDP-BJP alliance.

The separatists have maintained that elections or government formation in the state in "no way affects the fundamental issue of Kashmir''.

However, the separatists, unlike before, gave a muted call for boycott this time. Observers believe that was done to keep BJP, which was banking on migrant votes and boycott, to get seats in the valley.

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