The possibility of some rapprochement and reconciliation between the two factions of separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference-headed by Mirwaiz Ummer Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani on Thursday, looked dim again with both the factions sticking to their divergent positions on the issue of Kashmir.
While Mirwaiz faction has put its full weight behind Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf’s self-rule formula, the Geelani-led faction said that the resolutions of United Nations were the only solution to the issue of Kashmir.
The two factions made their stand clear after daylong meetings of the apex decision-making bodies of the rival conglomerates. Professor Abdul Gani Bhat, former chairman of Mirwaiz faction said, "We fully support General Pervez Musharraf’s self rule formula, which stresses on demilitarisation of Kashmir and joint management (by India and Pakistan) as it’s the only palatable solution. It satisfies the aspirations of the people of Kashmir as in self-rule people will be the master of their fate," Gani said.
He however said that some people have created confusion by mixing it with autonomy and other slogans and to remove that confusion it (self-rule) should be debated publicly.
Gani made these assertions at the conclusion of the amalgam's executive council meeting at their Raj Bagh headquarters on Thursday. He sought the support to self-rule from all political and peoples’ sections and said that a united stand was a must otherwise ‘we would be left as non-entities. The unity is in the interest of the people and the movement," he said.
Quite at the same time, when Mirwaiz faction was holing the meeting of its apex body at their Raj Bagh headquarters, around 200 yards away Syed Ali Geelani was holding the meeting of the Majlis-e-Shora (Central Advisory Committee) of his faction at his headquarter in the same locality.
In a statement issued after the Majlis meeting, the Geelani-led faction rejected all options and solutions other than the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on Kashmir.
"We are very clear in our position on Kashmir, and we have no ambiguity in it. We stand for the United Nations resolutions. No other solution is acceptable to us. Government of India should shun intransigence and should create a situation for the implementation of the UN resolutions," the statement said.
The meetings of the rival factions of the Hurriyat conglomerates were held against the backdrop of recent calls of unity by Pakistani establishment and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin.
Pakistan foreign secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan, during his meeting with Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi on November 14, had asked the separatist groups to join together and form a united stand on the issue of Kashmir.
Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin had also appealed for unity among the rival factions of the Hurriyat. With both factions sticking to their positions, the unity has aborted before it could take off.