Accepting the invite from Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has decided to participate in OIC meeting in New York.
“He (Geelani) will try his level best to represent the voices and concerns of the subjugated Kashmiris,” Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar said. “He will aware the world leaders about the serious and grave situation in Jammu and Kashmir and will impress upon them to work for the resolution of the long pending Kashmir dispute according to its historical perspective”.
Though Geelani has been invited by OIC to its conferences in the past as well, he couldn’t attend any of these meetings as he had not the travel documents.
The Ministry of External Affairs recently released travel documents to the separatist leader after he applied for a passport. Geelani’s daughter was seriously ill in Saudi Arabia and the separatist leader wanted to meet him. Though Geelani has the travel documents this time, it is to be seen whether the government would allow him to go to United States or not.
Also, Geelani’s participation in the OIC meeting would depend on whether the United States gives him visa or not. In the past, US has declined visa to Geelani even when he was planning to go there for treatment. US has been seeing Geelani as a hardliner who is opposed to talks and believes in violence.
The meeting of the foreign ministers of Islamic Countries is scheduled for September 27 in New York and besides Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has also been invited.
Geelani was being regularly invited to the OIC conferences in the past but the practice was discontinued after Pervez Musharraf took over in Pakistan and the relations between Musharraf government and Geelani turned sour.
The Organisation of Islamic Countries then invited the chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, which has got leverage with the Pakistan government. Hurriyat says that Geelani has already started formalities for his travel to New York. Mirwaiz is also planning to attend the meeting.