Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has invited Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani to Pakistan. The invitation was handed over to him in the form of a letter by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit. Hurriyat has confirmed that Geelani has received an invite from Sharif to visit Pakistan and said the the leader has accepted the invite to visit the neighboring country.
“The Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit invited Geelani Sahab to his New Delhi residence, where he handed over the letter of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to him,” Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar said. “Geelani Sahab has accepted the invitation”. The invite to Geelani by the Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif assumes significance in the backdrop of toughening of stands by New Delhi and Islamabad on Kashmir. Pakistan has invited the Hurriyat chairman despite the fact that India cancelled the foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan for inviting separatists to New Delhi and the NSA-level talks also could not be held for the same reasons. The invite to Geelani also means that Pakistan is also throwing its weight fully behind the separatist leader. According to Hurriyat, Sharif, in his invitation letter to Geelani, has promised full support to the separatist struggle in the state and has also lauded the role of Geelani in the “freedom struggle” of Kashmir.