The Hurriyat leaders today called for starting a dialogue between India and Pakistan in a meeting with the civil society delegation, which was led by Congress leader and former Minister, Mani Shanker Aiyer.
A five member civil society delegation of Centre for Peace and Progress (CFPP) led by Mani Shankar Aiyer which included, O P Shah, Kapil Kak, Vinod Sharma and I D Khajuria met Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, early morning.
That was followed by their meeting with Democratic Freedom party (DFP) chairman, Shabir Ahmad Shah, and later with Hurriyat (G) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Aiyar a former diplomat turned politician is in Kashmir from past few days and earlier on Tuesday he attended a conference organized on the theme ‘Discussion on J&K, The Road Ahead’.
However, JKLF chairman Yasin Malik, didn’t meet Aiyer and a spokesperson of JKLF, confirmed that an appointment was sought by Mani Shankar Aiyar, which was however rejected by Yasin Malik. Earlier, when a similar delegation led by Yashwant Sinha had come to Kashmir to meet Hurriyat leaders, Yasin hadn’t met them as well.
During the meeting with Mirwaiz, sources said, the separatist leader highlighted the need for starting the dialogue between India and Pakistan as well as the need to restrain the armed forces from indulging in the human rights violations. Welcoming the meeting, Mirwaiz described it as a “reach out.’’
Mirwaiz is also learnt to have taken up the issue that the Kashmir Valley has been turned into a garrison of military, paramilitary and police force personnel who enjoy complete immunity from prosecution by any law. Mirwaiz also told the delegation that the “recent incident of using of 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.’’
Shabir Ahmad Shah made it clear to Aiyar that the people of Jammu Kashmir will never give up their struggle for right to self-determination. He emphasized that the DFP was not in favour of strained relations between India and Pakistan but demanded justifiable solution to Kashmir dispute which has been the bone of contention between the two nuclear neighbouring nations.
On “threatening and provocative” statements being issued by Indian political and military leadership against Kashmiris, Shah said a “vicious propaganda” is being unleashed by asserting that the freedom movement is restricted to just three and a half districts. “Such statements are aimed at misleading the gullible people of India. If such is the case, why is New Delhi scared of seeking the opinion of the people of the state,” he said.