While the second-rung leaders of the separatist conglomeration have ruled out disbanding Hurriyat Conference, the much-talked-about meeting of the former Deputy Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation Sheikh Mohammad Imran with Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has fuelled speculation about separatist leaders joining the mainstream politics ahead of the assembly elections in J&K.

Before August 5, 2019, separatist leadership was calling the shots in Kashmir Valley as the mainstream stream politicians never mustered the guts to oppose the dictates of Hurriyat leaders.

Now the situation has changed in Kashmir Valley because most of the separatist leaders are in jail while five senior leaders have died after August 5, 2019

After the meeting, Sheikh Imran publically appealed to the senior separatist leader to join the mainstream to give genuine and honest leadership to the people of Kashmir Valley.

hurriyat leader mirwaiz farooq aphc separatist burhan wani j&k terror pakistan syed ali shah geelani
[Representational Image]IANS

Sheikh Imran's meeting with Mirwaiz and his statement after the meeting is significant in the sense that just a couple of days back, there were reports that Bilal Gani Lone, the senior separatist leader is going to say goodbye to separatist politics before assembly polls.

Notable reports about Bilal Gani Lone, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Independent Movement, joining mainstream politics were published and telecasted in the media but the separatist leader has not denied the same.

By maintaining silence, Bilal Gani Lone has authenticated reports about his goodbye to the separatism and Hurriyat Conference.

Sources said that Sheikh Imran's meeting with Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was not a routine interaction and it was a well-calculated move to prepare grounds for separatists to join mainstream politics.

After meeting with Mirwaiz on Tuesday, Imran requested the separatist leader to join mainstream politics for the sake of people who have "relentlessly suffered for over three decades because of political disability".

Hurriyat wants Indo-Pak cooperation to tackle Kashmir issue: Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

In a statement issued to the media, Imran said "it is a humble and respectful appeal to the most revered religious personality in Kashmir who has always had a strong emotional connection with the common people".

"Three decades and still peace isn't visible in J&K but I am sure that Umar Sahib's political acumen and gentle heart which has always condemned the bloodshed has immense potential to bring about a positive change that can deliver people of J&K from their existing miseries," he said.

Imran said that while keeping his religious stature in consideration it is not imperative that he should contest the elections by himself but coming to the mainstream will open a window of opportunity for peace to sustain in the valley that is ridden with stories of blood and despair.

Bilal Lone
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Bilal Lone already decided to give a big farewell to separatist politics

Senior Hurriyat Conference leader and chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Independent Movement Bilal Gani Lone is also going to quit separatist politics. Bilal Gani Lone is likely to join mainstream politics to contest the next assembly elections in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

A news agency reported that Bilal Gani Lone will formally join active electoral politics in the coming days.

His father Abdul Gani Lone was a three-time MLA before joining the separatist ranks. The reports said that Lone will soon part ways with Hurriyat Conference as he has firmly decided to fight the upcoming Assembly elections from his ancestral "strongly hold" in North Kashmir.