suspends Ansari for meeting interlocutors
moderate Hurriyat group led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq suspended its
senior leader Molvi Abbas Ansari from the separatist conglomerate
taking strong exception to his meeting the three central
government-appointed interlocutors here Wednesday.
Abbas Ansari, the senior Kashmiri Shia leader who was suspended
from the Hurriyat for meeting central government interlocutors,
has now openly rebelled against the separatist grouping.
In a statement here late Thursday, Ansari "welcomed the Hurriyat
decision to suspend his party, Itehadul Muslimeen, from the
Mirwaiz Umer Farooq-led Hurriyat conference".
"The Hurriyat decision has given me freedom to do things my way,"
he said defiantly.
Following his suspension from the Hurriyat Wednesday evening,
Ansari had initially clarified that he had not had any dialogue
with the central interlocutors.
The head of the three-member interlocutors, Dileep Padgaonkar,
said Wednesday that the trio called on Ansari and had an hour-long
discussion with him.
Ansari then said he had only stuck to traditional Kashmiri
hospitality and offered the visitors tea after he was surprised by
their unscheduled arrival at his old city home in Srinagar.
"I did not have any discussions with them and told them that it
had been the considered decision of the Hurriyat leaders not to
engage in any discussions with the central interlocutors,"
Ansari's statement had said Wednesday evening.
But Thursday, he said he would not henceforth beg the Hurriyat for
the inclusion of his party in the separatist conglomerate.
"I will run my party and not beg the Hurriyat for inclusion again.
Till now, we were following Hurriyat rules," he said.
The Shia leader, who has also been chairman of the Hurriyat group
in the past, said: "I am for continuation of the dialogue on
Kashmir and my doors are open for everyone who wants to meet me."
He, however, said Kashmir was too complex an issue and added that
talks on the subject needed to be headed by Prime Minister
Before being suspended for meeting the interlocutors, Ansari had
many a time ruffled the separatists' feathers.
Recently, he told reporters that people had no choice but to elect
their representatives for village panchayats.
During the summer unrest last year, Ansari had blamed the Peoples
Democratic Party of former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed
saying it paid "traditional trouble makers" to stone security