History repeats itself through starkly changing contexts. Take April 8 for instance, when Hurriat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, accompanied by other separatist leaders, made a trip to Delhi to take questions from the NIA in connection with a case related to alleged funding of terror groups. The same team, more or less, had made another Delhi trip way back in 2004, under a wholly different political climate—to discuss with the Vajpayee government possible peace solutions for Kashmir. That meeting made front page news. The recent interrogation is pushed to the background, as election campaigning intensifies in J&K. So is the recent arrest of JKLF leader Mohammad Yasin Malik.
Before leaving for New Delhi, Mirwaiz had said that in spite of the “harassment”, Hurriyat will continue to seek a peaceful resolution for the Kashmir issue. Mirwaiz was accompanied by Hurriyat executive members Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone and Masroor Ansari. Ironically, it is the same team that had held talks with the then deputy prime minister L.K. Advani in New Delhi in 2004. The two absentees from the Hurriyat this time were Fazal Haq Qureshi, and Moulana Abbas Ansari, both unwell.