Geelani out of OIC list

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 26.06.05

Islamabad, June 25 (PTI): The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) ? a 56-member bloc of Muslim nations ? has dropped hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani from the guest list for its upcoming foreign ministers’ conference in Yemen. Instead, it has invited moderate leader Mirwaiz Omar Farooq.

The decision seems to have been prompted by Pakistan, a member. Geelani had turned down Islamabad’s invitation to visit the country along with other Hurriyat leaders recently.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik and president of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party Shabir Ahmed Shah are among the invitees to the 32nd foreign ministers’ conference on June 28, according to a list released by the state-run PTV.

Till recently, only the Geelani faction used to be invited by the OIC, which has a committee on Kashmir, as it was officially recognised by Pakistan. Ever since the Mirwaiz’s visit to Pakistan, PTV has referred to him as Hurriyat chairman, a title till now accorded to Geelani, who is now being called “buzurgh rehnuma” (senior leader).