New Delhi: Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq once again broke ranks with his hardline separatist colleague Syed Ali Geelani by attending the Eid Milan party hosted by Pakistan Envoy Abdul Basit here on Tuesday.
According to his aide, he expressed reservations to the Pakistani side over leaving out the Kashmir issue in the joint statement after the meeting of Indian and Pakistani prime ministers in Russia recently.
“Mirwaiz expressed the reservations of the people of Kashmir over the recent joint statement by the Indian and Pakistan prime ministers in which the Kashmir problem was not even spoken about,” said his political secretary Shahid-ul-Islam said
Last week when the Pakistan envoy sent the official invitation for the Eid Milan party, Geelani immediately turned down the invitation, protesting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s silence for not mentioning Kashmir issue during the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ufa.
His stand was was soon seconded by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik and woman separatist lader Asiya Andrabi, who declined the invitation on the same grounds.
However, Mirwaiz accepted the invitation and attended the party at the Pakistani High Commission.
His decision was supported by another separatist leader Shabir Shah, who deputed three member team lead by his lieutenant Moulana Mohammad Abdullah Tari.
Talking to IANS, Shah said that “events like Eid Milan give us a chance to talk about Kashmir”.
“I accepted the invitation to confirm from the Pakistani envoy whether they still suport out right to self determination or not,” he said.
On being asked why Geelani refused, he said this was his “personal decision”.
Meanwhile, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit expressed his gratitude to the Mirwaiz for attending the function.
“I would especially like to thank Mirwaiz, who came all the way from Srinagar to attend this function,” he said.