SRINAGAR: After days of speculations, the Pakistan foreign ministry has formally invited Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to visit that country for consultations with its leadership. An invitation letter from Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Quershi to Mirwaiz Umar reads: “On behalf of Government of Pakistan, I’m pleased to extend an invitation to a delegation of All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by your kind self to visit Pakistan at mutually convenient dates in June 2008 for consultation and meetings with the leadership of Pakistan.”
“We look forward to extending a warm welcome to you in Pakistan,” it reads.
While confirming that invitation has come, Mirwaiz Umar told Greater Kashmir, “The visit is basically part of the process that was started when Hurriyat decided to talk to both India and Pakistan. We want to carry forward that mission.” Recently Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers had deliberations on various issues including Kashmir. As a party to dispute, we would like to know about the details of their talks on Kashmir,” he said.
The Hurriyat chairman said that they would interact with Pakistan Prime Minister Yosuf Raza Gilani and President Parvez Musharaf in the forthcoming visit. “We’ll make the new Pakistani government aware about the ground situation of Kashmir and also would like to know about their Kashmir policy. We would also meet Muslim League, Peoples Party and leadership of Azad Kashmir.”
Asked whether they intend to meet militant leadership in Pakistan to take them into confidence before proposed talks, Mirwaiz said, “Definitely, if we would get a chance, we would like to meet the militant leadership and take them into confidence. Besides diplomatic and political front, militancy is an important front of freedom movement and we want complete coordination.”
On unity efforts with Syed Ali Geelani and Yasin Malik, he said, “If there is sincerity from all the sides, Insh Allah unity would be a reality.” However, sources said that Hurriyat (M) is yet to contact Syed Ali Geelani for unity talks. “Shabir Ahmad Shah has been assigned the task to talk to Geelani, but he is yet to make any headway.” Sources said that only two to three Hurriyat leaders would be accompanying Mirwaiz to Pakistan. “Prof Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Gani Lone are expected to accompany Mirwaiz to Pakistan as Hurriyat wants a small delegation.” The Hurriyat executive is scheduled to meet soon to finalize the delegation, sources added. The delegation will visit Pakistan from June 21, a spokesman of Hurriyat said this evening.-SANA