SRI NAGAR: Separatist leaders of Kashmir rebuffed the attempts made by some members of the all-party delegation to reach out to them on Sunday. The leaders had also turned down the invitation extended by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for talks with the delegation.
Four MPs - CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D Raja, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and RJD’s Jay Prakash Narayan - attempted to meet the hardline leader Syed Ali Geelani at his residence. Geelani, who is under house arrest, refused to meet the MPs while his supporters chanted anti-India slogans.
The MPs also visited the moderate leader Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, who has been arrested and lodged in a sub jail in Cheshmashahi hut. According to sources, Asaduddin Owaisi went to meet him first. “After exchanging plesantaries, Mirwaiz told Owaisi that he was not ready to talk about Kashmir.”
Sitaram Yechury and Sharad Yadav met with Mirwaiz later, say sources. “During the 25-minute meeting, Mirwaiz told them that there can be no talks on Kashmir within the Indian Constitution.”
Attempts were also made to meet the JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, who is lodged in a police station in Humhama. “Malik refused to meet them saying no talks will be held with anyone under the Indian Constitution,” a JKLF spokesperson told Express. “The delegation was only interested in talking within the Indian Constitution. We have ruled out any talks on Kashmir within the Indian Constitution,” he added.
Separatist leader Shabir Shah also turned down the request for a meeting saying ‘there will be no talks till India accepts Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory’. “In politics India has deployed deceit and double talk for the past 70 years,” said the separatist leaders defending their decision to boycott the delegation. “These methods of crisis management only prolong the sufferings of people.”
Earlier, Geelani, Mirwaiz and Yasin Malik, who are leading ongoing unrest in Kashmir, had rejected the offer for talks by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in a joint statement. “Nobody is more aware than Mehbooba that Indian war machine is on a spree to kill, maim and disfigure an entire population into complete submission for demanding freedom, which is the birth right of all human beings,” their statement said.