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Separatist leaders invited for Pak visit
SRINAGAR, Oct 19: Pakistani government has invited the separatist leaders in Kashmir for visit to the country.

Reports said Pakistani deputy high commissioner in New Delhi, Babar Amin has sent fresh invitations to all the prominent separatist leaders asking them to confirm dates for the visit in the month of December.

The Pakistan high commission has also sought details from the separatist leaders regarding availability of travel documents which would be a prerequisite for the visit.

Pakistan government is believed to be keen on forging unity among the separatist leadership and the proposed visit of the Hurriyat leaders is seen as an effort to persuade the two factions of the Hurriyat to come closer if not together, reports a local news agency, KNS.

The visit is also seen as significant in Pakistan in view of coming elections in the country, with the ruling alliance trying to achieve some forward movement on the Kashmir issue with India. Arriving at a consensus after consultation with the separatist leaders will be important for Pakistan to make a move for headway on the issue with India.

Meanwhile Hurriyat (G) Spokesperson Ayaz Akbar confirmed that Amin called Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Thursday and invited him to visit Pakistan.

Hurriyat (M), Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said he was contacted for the proposed visit to Pakistan. “Details regarding availability of passports with various leaders were also sought. Hopefully we will be visiting the country and a decision on dates can only be arrived after holding a meeting of the Hurriyat Conference,” he added.

Other prominent Hurriyat leaders including Shabir Ahmad Shah, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone, Agha Syed Hassan. Abbas Ansari and Mukhtar A Waza have also been sent invitations.

All the leaders have been asked to renew or prepare their travel documents, wherever necessary, to ensure there are no impediments for the proposed visit.

Pertinently, the Hurriyat leaders had already been extended invitation by the Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabani Khar during her India visit earlier this year.

Shabir Ahmad Shah does not possess a valid passport while as other Hurriyat (M) leaders are holding the travel documents.

Ayaz Akbar said leaders of the Hurriyat (G) are not in possession of the documents and that they will only be able to decide on the visit after getting passports.
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News Updated at : Saturday, October 20, 2012
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