For the first time since 2008, Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chairman Yasin Malik shared the stage at a rally in Narbal on Monday to show solidarity with the family of a teenager killed in police firing.
The leaders, who were placed under house arrest following deaths of Khalid Muzaffar, 25, and Suhail Ahmad Sofi, 15, were released Sunday evening.
During the joint rally, the leaders spoke of a “united stand” on the Kashmir issue. “The pro-freedom people have a similar stand on the Indian occupation and elections,” Geelani said, adding: “We may be separate but we have a unity of thought”.
While the Mirwaiz said the “people of Kashmir are united in pursuing their goal and mission of martyrs”, Malik said “it is time for pro-freedom camp to stand united.”
The rally is significant in backdrop of a “push for unity” from Pakistan, which has asked separatist leaders to unite under one umbrella. In past two weeks, several separatist leaders have left the Mirwaiz-led moderate Hurriyat, planning to join the Geelani-led conglomerate.