Geelani agrees to attend IT Conclave
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Mar 14: The Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani has finally decided to participate in the two-day high profile conclave of the India Today Group, scheduled to begin from March 18 in New Delhi.
Geelani was invited to speak in the Conclave’s breakfast debate ‘Kashmir- what next?’ on March 19 and share the stage with other speakers including Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat.
However, the veteran leader had refused to attend the conclave saying he can’t share the stage with officials of the Government of India or bureaucrats including the National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, till his five minimum conditions were accepted.
After hectic deliberations with the members of civil society, intellectuals and the conglomerate’s allies, Geelani has now agreed to attend the conclave.
“During the deliberations there was a consensus that no dialogue or talks is going to take place in the conclave. This is a historic moment to tell the people of India and the international community about the grave situation which has engulfed Kashmir and underscore the importance of its resolution,” a Hurriyat spokesman said in a statement.
Defending Geelani’s earlier decision to back out from the conclave, the spokesman said the ailing leader took strong exception to presence of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, NSA and other senior GOI officials in the event.
“It has been the conglomerate’s standing policy not to enter into any dialogue process with the Government of India till its accepts our five points including accepting Kashmir as a dispute, start of demilitarization, revocation of special powers to armed forces and release of political prisoners,” the spokesman said.
However, he said India Today Group through a letter clarified to Geelani that the conclave was not a Government function but an international event to discuss geopolitical issues affecting the world.
He said the Group has urged Geelani to reconsider his decision and attend the event. “Geelani Sahib has been advised by the civil society and intellectuals to avoid contact or dialogue with GOI top functionaries and bureaucrats and sit among the audience,” he said.
The conclave spanning over many sessions, will be addressed by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, former Governor of Alaska and vice-presidential nominee of US, Sarah Palin, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, former Pakistan Ambassador to Afghanistan and High Commissioner to India, Aziz Ahmed Khan, and Pakistani writer and activist, Fatima Bhutto.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
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