Geelani slams Pakistan for its Kashmir policy



Srinagar: Hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who has turned down an invitation to visit Pakistan, on Friday criticised Islamabad for its Kashmir policy saying it does not "match the aspirations" of Kashmiris.

"The present policy of Pakistan government vis-a-vis Kashmir is not matching the sacrifices and aspirations of the people of Kashmir," he told Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir in New Delhi.

Briefing media about the hour-long meeting between Geelani and Bashir hours before the arrival of Pakistan minister Rehman Malik in Delhi, Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar said the group's chairman told Pakistan that "Kashmir is not an economic issue or an issue of trade ties but an issue linked to the death and survival of a nation."

"It (Kashmir) is a grave political and human issue," he said adding "trade ties (between the two parts of Kashmir) cannot change the ground reality which is that this bloody line (LoC) has consumed thousands of lives."

Geelani recently rejected the Pakistan invitation and even opposed the visit of moderate separatist leaders led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to the country.

He said Pakistan government and the people of Kashmir are fully aware of our stand. Kashmir is an issue linked to the division of the sub-continent and Pakistan has been supportive to our demand for right of self-determination.

PTI