Srinagar, September 4 (NIA): The stand off in Kashmir became more acute on Sunday when the state’ separatist or resistance leaders spurned Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s plea to meet the all-party delegation which had come to have comprehensive talks with all stakeholders to defuse the violent crisis which has been on since July 9.
The separatists say that first India and Pakistan should talk and come to an understanding before any talks are held with them.
Attempts by five opposition members of the all-party delegation to reach out to them failed as they refused to talk to them, with hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani even refusing to meet them ,PTI reports.
Four MPs — -CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D Raja, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and RJD’s Jay Prakash Narayan — broke away from the group and went to meet Geelani at his residence where he is under house arrest for the last 60 days.
They were received with slogans outside the residence whose gate was not opened for them. 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 the BSF camp in Humama. He told the MPs that he will talk when he visits New Delhi. 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.
“Talk to Pakistan First”
“This is a futile exercise. Nothing concrete will happen until and 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,” Bhat said.
All India Majlis Itthehad ul Muslimeen leader, Asaduddin Owaisi, went separately to meet moderate Hurriyat leader Miwaiz Umar Farooq in the Chashma Shahi sub-jail where he is detained. Mirwaiz met Owaisi briefly during which only pleasantaries were exchanged.
Earlier in the day, the separatists rejected Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s invitation to them for meeting with all-party delegation, terming such a measure as “deceitful” and insisting that it cannot be an alternative to a “transparent agenda-based dialogue to address the core issue”.
The delegation has come here to defuse 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.
Mehbooba’s Letter To Separatists
Earlier, the Peoples Democratic Party President and Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, wrote to leaders of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Hurriyat Conference, Hurriyat Conference J&K, JKLF, National Front and Jamaat-e-Islami including Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Moulvi Abbas Ansari, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Bilal Gani Lone, Aga Hassan, Naeem Ahmad Khan, Amir Jamiat-e-Ahli-Hadees and others reiterating their role and seeking their cooperation in the peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue.
Here is the text of the letter according to Greater Kashmir.
All of us are deeply concerned, albeit in our own way, about the existing situation in the Valley. Notwithstanding the fact that you and I have different and divergent political ideologies, I have no doubt that all of us have the best interest of the people of J&K in mind.
True, our politics and programs are at variance with each other, but our concerns for our people and society in general, and the future of our youth in particular, should not be any different.
As such, I write to you in my capacity as the President of the J&K Peoples Democratic Party and request you to take the lead and engage with the All Party Delegation of Parliamentarians visiting the state tomorrow. This will be the start of a credible and meaningful political dialogue and resolution process to end the stalemate.
Cutting across party lines and political positions, the country’s political leadership has reached out and it is for us to collectively lend it credence and credibility.
All of us, be it the mainstream political parties or political groups with a separatist agenda, voice the urges and aspirations of our people, as we understand those, and seek a resolution of the problems as we see them from our own perspectives.
My party has always believed that the Hurriyat Conference is a stakeholder in the peace, resolution and prosperity of the state. Indeed, right in the beginning in our Party’s founding declaration we stood for dialogue with all stakeholders as the only way forward.
When we formed an alliance with the Congress Party, the cornerstone of our Common Minimum Program was dialogue with parties of all ideological hues. This was later followed by an unconditional dialogue, under the leadership of the then Prime Minster Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, with Deputy Prime Minster, Shri L K Advani.
In the manifesto of our Party for the last Parliamentary Election, it was clearly mentioned that PDP will seek the resolution of the issue taking Hurriyat Conference on board. The same was reiterated in the manifesto of our assembly election.
Indeed, even in the ‘Agenda of Alliance’, which is the basis of our government formation with our alliance partners, the Bharatiya Janata Party, it has been made clear that the State Government will create conditions to facilitate resolution of all issues and will help initiate a sustained and meaningful dialogue with all the stakeholders, including all political groups in J&K irrespective of their ideological views and predilections to build a broad based consensus on resolution of all outstanding issues of J&K.
To convert our conviction and commitment of a peaceful and prosperous J&K into reality, it is important that you share your thoughts and beliefs with this distinguished group who represent the people of India and not only the Government of India.
I do hope that you will give this suggestion of mine a thought and indicate a time and place of your convenience for an exchange of ideas with the delegation.”