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Kashmir unrest: Separatists snub talks with all-party delegation, call it a photo-op

Attempts made by a breakaway section of all-party parliamentary delegation to reach out to Kashmiri separatist leaders was met with a cold response as the later either refused to meet the delegation or hold peace

India TV News Desk, Srinagar [ Published on: September 05, 2016 7:05 IST ]
Separatist leaders refuse to meet all-party delegation
Image Source : PTI Separatist leaders refuse to meet all-party delegation

Attempts made by a breakaway section of all-party parliamentary delegation to reach out to Kashmiri separatist leaders was met with a cold response as the later either refused to meet the delegation or hold peace talks with them.

Yesterday, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had invited three Hurriyat leaders Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Faoooq and Yasin Malik for talks in her capacity as the PDP chief.

In a statement on Sunday, the three Hurriyat leaders rejected the invitation saying that the delegation from Delhi had not spelt out its mandate and had no clear agenda of engagement.

The snub reaffirmed their remarks that the 30-member political team, led by Union home minister Rajnath Singh, from New Delhi was in the Valley for a photo-op, and not to solve the crisis.

While the delegation, led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, met mainstream sections, five members of the group broke away to meet the separatists.

Four MPs -- -CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D Raja, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and RJDs Jay Prakash Narayan -- went to meet hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at his residence where he is under house arrest for the last 60 days while AIMIM leader Assadudin Owaisi went to meet moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at Chashma Shahi sub-jail where he is lodged.

At Geelanis residence, the gate was not even opened for the MPs while people shouted slogans outside. Geelani saw them from the window but refused to meet the parliamentarians.

"It is our effort to show that we are ready to talk to anyone whether they agree to meet or not," Yadav said.

The group also went to meet JKLF chief Yaseen Malik who is under detention at BSF camp in Humhama. He told the MPs that he will talk when he visits New Delhi.

Owaisi went separately to meet Miwaiz who met him briefly but only exchanged pleasantaries. After Owaisis failed attempt, the group comprising Yechury, Yadav, Raja and Narayan went to meet the Mirwaiz and were with him for about 15 minutes.

The group tried to meet former Hurriyat Chairman Abdul Ghani Bhat who also refused to talk to them. Bhat welcomed the leaders but made it clear it has been decided that no talks will be held with the delegation members.

Owaisi said he also met another detained leader Shabir Shah for some time and offered namaz along with him there.

But no separatist leader held talks with them.

"This is a futile exercise. Nothing concrete will happen until or unless India talks to Pakistan on Kashmir. We will not be able to arrive at any solution if India only talks to Kashmiris or Pakistan talks to Kashmiris. We should try and solve this issue which can otherwise result in hostilities between the two neighbouring nations," said Ghani Bhat.

During the first day of its visit, the delegation met about 200 members in about 30 delegations from various sections of society and listened to their point of view to reach at a common solution to the current scenario in Jammu and Kashmir, a statement from the Home Ministry said.

The delegation had come here to cool the volatile situation arising out of violent protests that have gripped the Valley since the killing of Hizbul militant Burhan Wani on July 8. The clashes resulting from the protests have claimed 71 lives and injured thousands. 

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