Srinagar: The state government on Friday skirted a direct reply to a question by National Conference’s legislator, asking it whether the delegations coming from New Delhi are vested with “some mandate or authority” regarding the settlement of Kashmir issue.
Replying to the legislator Mian Altaf Ahmad’s question, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti talked about Home minister Rajnath Singh’s visits to Kashmir, individually and as leader of an All Party Delegation during the peak of the uprising last year. However, nothing was said about the specific query about the mandate.
“Home Minister also visited Srinagar twice during the law and order disturbances and met with a number of delegations belonging to various shades of opinions. Similarly, an All Party Delegation led by the Home Minister visited Srinagar from 4th to 5th September, 2016,” she said.
At least four All Party Delegations have visited Kashmir Valley since 1990, when armed insurgency against Indian rule took centre stage in the state.
A delegation headed by then Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhury Devi Lal and comprising Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajaypee, visited the curfew-bound Kashmir Valley in January 1990 to “study the situation” in the State.
The second APD initiative happened during 2008 amid uprising against transfer of land to Amarnath Shrine Board by the State Government.
The third APD visit was during 2010 uprising triggered by the killing of 17-year-old Tufail Matto.
The APD was lead by then Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram and they met various pro-freedom and civil society groups without any concrete outcome even as the government of India unveiled an eight point formula to calm tempers in Kashmir.