Srinagar: In an attempt to forge unity
among separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, JKLF chairman Yaseen
Malik and moderate Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umer
Farooq today offered Friday prayers together.
This is the first time that Mirwaiz and Malik shared
public space since September 2003 when the then Hurriyat
Conference suffered a vertical split with Syed Ali Shah
Geelani floating a parallel amalgam with the support of
In his Friday sermon at Jamia Masjid in interior city,
Mirwaiz welcomed Malik saying he had "exhibited positive
response" to the unity appeal at this crucial juncture.
"I am hopeful that other separatist leaders will also
respond positively in the larger interest of the movement so
that a consensus can be arrived at in bringing uniformity,"
Addressing the gathering, Malik also called for unity
in order to achieve the goal of the ongoing movement.
"Today, our struggle is peaceful and if attempts are
made to crush it by use of force, the youth will be forced to
pick up the gun again. The responsibility for such an
eventuality will rest with the government," Malik said.
Last Friday, the moderate Hurriyat had appealed for
unity among separatists and sent two delegations to Geelani
and Malik in this regard.
Mirwaiz had requested them to offer Eid prayers at
Eidgah as the first step towards unity. Although Geelani had
planned to offer Eid prayers at Hazratbal, he urged the people
to offer prayers at Eidgah minutes before his arrest on
After the prayers, Mirwaiz and Malik jointly led a
protest march from Jamia Masjid compound to nearby Nowhatta
chowk. The protest rally dispersed off peacefully.