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Hurriyat faction strikes a conciliatory note

By Our Staff Reporter

JAMMU SEPT. 16. A day after the senior separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, became the chairman of the rebel faction of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference, the Moulvi Abbas Ansari-led faction of the conglomerate today tried to put up a brave fight and struck a note of reconciliation.

On Monday, the rebel faction had claimed the support of 15 parties of the conglomerate and today an emergency meeting was called to take stock of the situation.

The stand of the Ansari-led Hurriyat remained that the executive of the conglomerate had not split but admitted that the general council had undergone a vertical split. "Yes, there has been a division in our general council," said Abdul Ghani Bhat, former Hurriyat Chairman, at the end of the emergency meeting at Raj Bagh, headquarters of the Hurriyat Conference.

Those who attended the meeting included Moulvi Abbas Ansari, Prof. Abdul Ghani Bhat, chief of the Muslim Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the Awami Action Committee, and Bilal Lone, leader of the People's Conference. The three other constituents — the Jamaat-e-Islami, the People's League and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front — are yet to take a clear stand. There has been a vertical split even in the rest of the groups supporting Moulvi Ansari. Even within the People's Conference, its important leader, Ghulam Mohammad Hubbi, and the Muslim Conference leader, Ghulam Nabi Sumji, have sided with Mr. Geelani. It is clear that the Ansari-led group was trying to patch up the differences.

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