Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, who led a delegation to meet separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Syed Geelani, on Wednesday said that condition in Jammu & Kashmir will soon become better. “Today I can assure you that conditions in J&K will soon become better. We have to look forward, not backward,” said Sinha.
In a bid to break the three- month impasse in Kashmir triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani, Sinha on Tuesday led a five-member delegation of civil society members to meet the separatist leaders, creating ripples in political circle. The delegation met Geelani, leader of hardline Hurriyat Conference, at his residence in Hyderpora area of Srinagar. It also met Mirwaiz Farooq, the chief of another faction of Hurriyat Conference.
BJP, however, distanced itself from the initiative as did the central government, saying it was done at a personal level. “It is not a BJP delegation. BJP has nothing to do with this,” BJP’s National Secretary Shrikant Sharma had said.
A top Home Ministry official said the delegation was touring the Kashmir Valley on its own wisdom and the Central government has nothing to do with it. Talking to reporters after these meetings, Sinha said, “I only want to say that we had come for talks and the talks happened in a good manner.”
The other members of the delegation were Wajahat Habibullah, former bureaucrat of J&K government and ex- chairman of National Commission for Minorities, Kapil Kak, former Air Vice-Marshal, journalist Bharat Bhushan and Sushoba Barve of Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.