A five-member delegation led by former external affairs minister, Yashwant Sinha Tuesday called on Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani at his residence in Hyderpora locality in Srinagar. The delegation drove to the octogenarian leader’s house where he is placed under house detention.Geelani had earlier refused to meet parliamentarians who were part of an all-party delegation to Kashmir.Former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha, who led a five-member delegation to Geelani’s residence in Srinagar on Wednesday, said that talks with the Hurriyat (G) leader were held in a cordial atmosphere.After landing in Srinagar, the delegation straightaway drove to the octogenarian leader’s house where he is placed under house arrest.After holding talks for over an hour, Sinha told journalists outside the Geelani’s residence: “We had come here with the aim of holding talks. The talks were held in cordial atmosphere.”The delegation also called on Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and senior separatist leader Professor Abdul Gani Bhat as well. Mirwaiz was released from jail on Monday night.He remains under house arrest at his Nigeen residence.
Besides Yaswant Sinha the other members of the delegation are Wajahat Habibullah, the former chairman of National Commission for Minorities, Kapil Kak, former Air Vice-Marshal, journalist Bharat Bhushan and Sushoba Barve of Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.All Parties Hurriyat Conference, while issuing a statement to press said that a high level delegation headed by former External Affairs Minister Mr. Yashwant Sinha dropped at the residence cum office of its chairman Syed Ali Geelani today at about 11:30 am. Delegation included Rtd. Air Vice Marchal Mr. Kapil Kak, Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, Senior Journalist Mr. Bharat Booshan and Executive Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation Mrs. Shashooba Barway.Hurriyat said that conversation took place in a cordial atmosphere, wherein Geelani Sahab reminded them the historical perspective of the Kashmir issue, pending for its final resolution since 1947.Hurriyat said that people have rendered huge sacrifices for settlement of this long standing dispute. Referring to the present uprising, delegation was told that for the last 107 days 94 people have been killed with 15,000 people injured and an equal number, especially youth are arrested. About 100 people are arrested daily and draconian laws like PSA are slapped on them and they are shifted to jails outside valley. It was conveyed to the delegation, with all the updated data, which arrested people include old as well as juvenile.
Commenting on the prevailing situation it was said that onus of peace in the region particularly in Jammu and Kashmir lies with those holding power, military might and other resources. It was further said that along with people resistance activists and leaders have been put behind bars and Geelani Sahab himself is under house arrest for last 6 years. All the people and leaders should be released and the cases against them should be withdrawn so that after consultation a common and collective point of view can be put forward.Meanwhile Right wing Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) distanced itself from the meeting between Kashmiri resistance leader Syed Ali Geelani and a delegation led by its leader Yashwant Sinha, saying the party has “nothing to do with it”. “It is not a BJP delegation. BJP has nothing to do with this,” its National Secretary Shrikant Sharma told reporters in Indian capital New Delhi.“Some media outlets have said that it is a BJP delegation which is absolutely wrong,” Sharma said, adding Sinha too maintained that he took up the enterprise in his personal capacity. (CNS)