Kashmir talks: Hurriyat leaders turn down CM’s invitation; snub Opposition leaders
Srinagar: Opposition leaders, who landed here today as part of the All Party Delegation of MPs to hold talks with the stakeholders on the volatile situation in Kashmir valley, were snubbed by the Hurriyat leaders as they refused to hold a dialogue with them.
The All Party Delegation is in the State on a two-day visit to talk to the stakeholders and find a solution to the violent protests that have erupted in the Valley following the killing of Hizbul militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.
The Opposition leaders were all out for engaging the Hurriyat leaders and drawing them in a dialogue. The snub by the Hurriyat leaders is being seen as a huge loss of face for the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who had written a letter yesterday inviting the separatist leaders for a dialogue with the All Party Delegation.
The separatists, according to available reports have described the J&K Chief Minister’s invitation as “deceitful” and said it cannot be an alternative to a “transparent agenda-based dialogue to address the core issue”.
On the first day of their 2-day visit to J&K, the All Party Delegation, led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh met more than 2-dozen delegations representing different sections of society to find a common solution to the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
After the Hurriyat leaders were conspicuous by the absence, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D Raja, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and RJD’s Jay Prakash Narayan went to meet the separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, undergoing house arrest at his residence. Here the Opposition leaders were received by slogan shouting Geelani supporters. The gate to his residence also remained shut. When this group went to meet JKLF chief Yaseen Malik, now under detention at BSF camp in Humhama, he told the MPs that he would only talk to them in Delhi.
In the meanwhile, AIMIM leader Assadudin Owaisi, ended up exchanging greetings with moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at Chashma Shahi sub-jail. After him, the other Opposition leaders, who who had earlier made a failed attempt to meet Geelani met the Mirwaiz, with whom they spent about quarter of an hour. The AIMIM leader also briefly met detained leader Shabir Shah and offered ‘namaz’ with him.
Former Hurriyat Chairman Abdul Ghani Bhat also refused to get drawn into talks with the Opposition MPs on the Kashmir issue.