SRINAGAR: Separatist leaders today rebuffed attempts by five opposition members of the all-party delegation to reach out to them as they refused to talk to them, with hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani even refusing to meet them.
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 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 members.
"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," Bhat said.
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi went separately to meet moderate Hurriyat leader Miwaiz Umar Farooq in Chashma Shahi sub-jail where he 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 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.