Hurriyat leaders open their doors and hearts for non-political delegation visit

'Full-timer' separatist leader Geelani owns properties worth crores without even having a job.

Srinagar, Oct 26: The second session of diplomatic efforts to convince Hurriyat leaders have succeeded after the  Kashmir separatists welcomed the five member delegation led by former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha in a task to contain the logjam on Kashmir.

The leaders had refused to cooperate with earlier diplomatic talks when All Party Delegation (APD) convened a meeting for the same.

Here lies the irony. The Hurriyat leaders were not convinced with the agenda of political talks on the highly political and sensitive J&K valley.

The team comprised of former divisional commissioner Kashmir and Chief Information  Commissioner Wajat Habibullah, former Air-Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, veteran journalist Bharat Bhushan and Executive Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation Sushobha Barve.

After landing in Srinagar, the five-member delegation directly drove to the residence of Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani. However, unlike the initial effort, Geelani received the team warmly.

Sinha convinced Geelani that the team has visited only on the basis of humanity an there is no political agenda behind it. The sources from Hurriyat claim that they were highly cooperative to the delegation this time.

“The dialogue took place in a peaceful and cooperative atmosphere. The Hurriyat hawk recalled the historical perspective of Kashmir issue, citing the pending resolution since 1947,” said a spokesperson associated to Hurriyat conference.

The delegation was also reminded of the heartbreaking statistics that 94 people were killed and 15,000 were injured during the last 107 days.

Geelani also pointed that the duty of establishing peace in the J&K region lies in the hands of military forces and the central government jointly with the cooperation of  public of the region.

“Our chief is under house arrest for last six years. Our sole demand is all the people and leaders of the region should be released and the cases against them should be withdrawn. Then we are ready to engage in dialogues with the government as well as other stakeholders,” added the spokesperson.

Later the delegation held talks with the moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at his Nigeen residence in the afternoon. Mirwaiz, who was released from sub jail Chashma Shahi on Monday evening, had earlier refused to meet the APD member Assaduddin Owaisi in the jail on September 2.

“I was not aware of  this delegation visit till Monday evening. I believe that my release was made because of this visit.  But I have told the team that uncertainty at the valley will continue unless the government accept it as a dispute land and come forward with meaningful steps for resolution. I have even given them two ways of resolving the issue. The government should either implement the UN resolutions or start meaningful tripartite talks between India, Pakistan and Kashmir,” Mirwaiz said.

Unfazed by his detention, Mirwaiz threatened to break the curfew if he is not allowed to offer prayers at Jamia Masjid on Friday. Friday prayers have not been held in Jamia Masjid due to the curfew and restrictions imposed by the authorities since the unrest began after the killing of Hizbul Mujhadeen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

Former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha tried to clear the air saying they have not come here as a part of any delegation. “We have come here for humanity. Talks were held in a very good atmosphere,” he said.

The team is scheduled to meet the governor NN Vohra, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, representatives of trade and civil society during their stay in the valley.