Srinagar, Nov. 22: Unity moves within the All Parties Hurriyat Conference appear to have gathered pace on the eve of the Pakistan Prime Minister's visit to India.
'We have been invited to meet Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz as members of the erstwhile Hurriyat executive committee,' said Abdul Gani Bhat, the former chairperson and chief spokesperson of the Mirwaiz Omar Farooq-led group of the separatist conglomerate.
'All the seven erstwhile executive committee members and (Democratic Freedom Party chairman) Shabir Ahmad Shah will meet Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in Delhi,' Bhat said.
Much significance is being attached locally to the invitation by Aziz. 'The Pakistan Prime Minister has invited us for an exchange of ideas on the possible solution to the Kashmir problem. If India follows suit, we will consider it fairly seriously,' Bhat said.
The separatist leaders invited to meet the Pakistan Prime Minister include Bhat, Omar Farooq, Shah, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Moulvi Abbas Ansari, Bilal Gani Lone and Mohammad Yasin Malik.
'This is a clear indication that the ongoing unity moves within the Hurriyat, which had faced a vertical split last year, have the blessings of the Pakistan government,' said a political analyst here.
Omar Farooq had recently secretly met Geelani, throwing up rumours that the two groups were in the process of working out an agreement on unity.
Last year, Geelani had taken exception to the acceptance of the Centre's talks offer and formed his own group of the Hurriyat. He had accused the People's Conference ' a moderate constituent of the conglomerate founded by slain Kashmiri separatist leader Abdul Gani Lone ' of 'fielding proxy candidates during the 2002 Assembly elections' and had demanded that the organisation be expelled from the Hurriyat.