Trade bodies boycott meeting with HM

Srinagar: As Home Minister Rajnath Singh has reached the valley amid mass unrest and civilian killings to hold dialogue with cross section of society here, Kashmir’s trade bodies on Wednesday decided not to meet the visiting union minister.

The state government had sent invitations to the business community for a meeting with the visiting Singh. However traders’ bodies said they will not meet the minister.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) chairman, Mushtaq Ahmad told KNS that they decided to boycott the meeting with Union Home Minister as they saw no change on the ground since the protests in Kashmir started.

“There has been no change on the ground, pellets are being used, civilian killings continued so at this period of time, meeting with any of the official will prove hoax,” he said.

He said that until and unless there will not see any change on the ground, they will not think of meeting any one.

Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) senior vice chairman, Farooq Ahmad Dar, told KNS that they have boycotted too meet with HM Rajnath Singh on the grounds that if India is sincere to normalize the situation in Kashmir then they should first stop use of pellet guns and civilian killings in Kashmir.

“Besides that, we are real representatives to hold dialogue with Union Home Minister. The real representatives have been either placed under house detention or have been placed under police custody,” he said.

He said that if India could have been sincere over the issue then they should have been released all the leaders who have been placed under house detention or under police custody.

Muhammad Yasin Khan of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) told KNS that they have boycotted the meeting with Singh in past and have decided to boycott meeting with him this time as well.

“We are traders, what would India achieve by talking to us?” Khan questioned, adding that instead of inviting them, they should invite and talk to Kashmiri leaders.

“Kashmir is a dispute accepted by the world community. Our real representatives are pro-freedom leaders. India should hold dialogue with Pakistan and our leaders if it is sincere in resolving the Kashmir dispute,” Khan said.

He said that the visits of Indian ministers and other politicians are “futile” exercises.

“So, we have decided not to meet” the home minister Rajnath Singh.

Notably, Rajnath Singh has embarked on a two-day visit, his second in a month to the valley that has been gripped by mass unrest following killings of civilians after killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and congress leaders met with the Home Minister and apprised him of rising anger among Kashmiris.

Singh as per sources reviewed the security situation and is scheduled to meet all the stake holders of the Valley. (KNS)

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