Srinagar: A delegation led by senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar called on Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Shabir Ahmed Shah separately here on Thursday.
JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik had not meet the visiting delegation when this report was filed late on Thursday.
However a JKLF spokesman said that an appointment was sought by Mani Shankar Aiyar, however, that was rejected by Yasin Malik.
Earlier, when a similar delegation led by Yashwant Sinha came to Kashmir to meet Hurriyat leaders, Yasin had also refused to meet them.
During their meeting at Nageen, Mirwaiz welcomed the visitors saying that It was good to know that in the din of hateful outbursts and aggression against the people of Kashmir that has become the norm in power circles of New Delhi and is propagated through most of its viscous electronic media to poison the minds of Indians and mislead them regarding the Kashmir dispute, there were those who held the rights of human being and their causes based on universally accepted principals above so called “nationalism” and wanted to reach out.
The four member delegation from Centre for Peace and Progress includes O.P. Shah, Air Vice Marshal (retd.) Kapil Kak and senior journalist Vinod Sharma. It is not clear whether Mani Shankar Aiyar led team has the backing of any one in the union government.
Mirwaiz told the delegation that the situation of Kashmir was one of “extreme oppression”.
“The valley has been turned into a garrison of military paramilitary and police force where the civilians are held hostage by them and at are at their mercy, as they enjoy complete immunity from prosecution. All kinds of restrictions are in place to deny space to people to express their aspirations or protest their condition and the repression against them. Killing blinding, maiming, torture, arrests and detention are the order of the day. The situation is so frustrating that even young students are hitting the roads each day to resist occupation. He said the recent incident of using a Kashmiri youth as a human shield by an army officer and his honoring by the authorities clearly defines the GOI s perspective regarding Kashmir and how to deal with it.
Mirwaiz told the delegation that despite facing such oppression, people have made up their mind that they will not yield and will continue to demand their just full and basic right to self determination, guaranteed by Indian leadership before the world.
Mirwaiz said that by resorting to military might, Delhi and its local collaborators cant crush the popular sentiment which lives deep in the heart and mind of every Kashmiri irrespective of age or religion.
Mirwaiz told the delegation that Hurriyat believes that an alternative way to resolve the dispute was through negotiations between India Pakistan and the people of Kashmir to the satisfaction of all but primarily keeping in view the aspirations and will of the people of kashmir who are greatly sacrificing and suffering.
Hurriyat leader urged the delegation members that they should shoulder the responsibility and inform the people of India about the actual situation of Kashmir,the oppression unleashed here and help counter the lies and misinformation being spread about Kashmir.
The delegation later in the afternoon visited Syed Ali Geelani at his Hyderpora residence. Hurriyat (G) also released a video showing how Geelani received the delegation.
During his interaction with the delegation octogenarian Kashmiri leader said that India holds Kashmir by military might.
Reiterating his stand on the unconditional talks, Geelani according to sources said that Hurriyat was ready for a meaningful unconditional dialogue. Geelani also highlighted the incidents of atrocities in Kashmir valley.
Geelani said that We are more serious and desirous to maintain peace, however it is important to identify the culprits who are creating disturbances in educational institutions.
Wrong policies, arbitrary measures and unjustified use of force against students is the root cause of present mayhem, said Geelani. The students came on roads when these institutions were raided by forces, added Geelani.
Geelani said that these students were thrashed and later these video clips were uploaded on social media to terrorize student community. We do care for these students and we want to see them pursuing their education, said Geelani, however he added, that it was a well thought out move to disturb student community, and the main aim is to make their future bleak.
Geelani said that hundreds of thousands of mourners participated in the funeral of Burhan Wani without causing any disturbances, however without any provocation people were showered with bullets and dozens of mourners were brutally killed in indiscriminate firing by forces.
Meanwhile, Shabir Ahmed Shah also made it clear to Indian leader Mani Shankar Aiyar that the people of Jammu Kashmir will never give up their struggle for right to self-determination.
Shah while putting forward his viewpoint said, We are not in favour of strained relations between India and Pakistan but demand justifiable solution to Kashmir dispute which has been the bone of contention between the two nuclear neighbouring nations.
It is noteworthy that earlier senior BJP leader and former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha led the civil society group, Concerned Citizens Group, also visited Kashmir in October last year and met Hurriyat leaders.
The group later submitted recommendations to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office, but none of the recommendations were implemented.
Meeting with Mehbooba
The delegation met the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti in the evening.
Members of the delegation informed the Chief Minister about the impressions of their visit to the Valley.
Mehbooba Mufti appreciated the initiative taken by them and informed them that she has been advocating for long that dialogue and peaceful means of engagement are the only ways ahead to get the issues resolved.
Members of the delegation also met Governor Vohra and apprised him about their views regarding the restoration of peace in the State.
They strongly urged that a meaningful and uninterrupted dialogue with all stakeholders must be started without any further delay for bringing about sustained normalcy in the Kashmir Valley.
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