Ufa declaration fallout: Geelani turns down Pak invite for 'Eid Milan' in Delhi

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jul 14, 2015 20:17 IST

Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani on Tuesday turned down an invitation of the Pakistan high commission to attend an Eid Milan function in New Delhi.

"As a token protest we will not attend the function. The development where prime ministers of India and Pakistan gave a miss to Kashmir issue in their joint (Ufa) declaration (in Russia) is unfortunate. We believe Kashmir cannot be taken for granted," said Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar.

Pakistan's deputy high commissioner had called up Geelani and extended an invite.

"We held a meeting of all Hurriyat constituents and decided no representative from us will attend the function," said Akbar.
The Hurriyat spokesman alleged that India was pushing 'Minus Kashmir' agenda on Pakistan. "The absence of Kashmir from joint declaration only reflects the fact that Pakistan was taking Indian dictation (on Kashmir)," said Akbar.

The Hurriyat claimed Kashmir is "a burning issue."

"The poverty running so deep in south Kashmir is also related to the Kashmir dispute. There can be no conducive atmosphere between India and Pakistan till the dispute is resolved," said the Hurriyat spokesman.

This is for the first time that a significant separatist conglomerate will not attend the party where Pakistan annually invites them.

However, moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik are yet to decide whether to attend the
function or not.

"I am yet to receive an invite and will decide after that," said Malik.

Earlier, the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi postponed an iftar party, where separatists were scheduled to come to ensure that the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Mian Nawaz Sharif takes place without any hiccup in Ufa, Russia. The iftar party was scheduled for July 4, six days ahead of the Modi-Sharif meeting.

In August 2014, India cancelled talks with Pakistan after Pakistan's high commissioner in Delhi consulted Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of secretary-level talks.

Geelani's move comes despite Pakistan foreign office advisor Sartaj Aziz on Monday claimed that "there will be no dialogue without Kashmir with India."

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