Leaders of Opposition parties, who were part of the all-party delegation that travelled to Srinagar and Jammu, are likely to press the government to come up with “concrete” proposals to reach out to the Valley when Home Minister Rajnath Singh chairs a follow-up meeting of the team Wednesday.
Some in the Opposition say the very fact that at least three separatist leaders met some members of the delegation — Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani was the one who refused to meet them — needs to be taken as the starting point to engage separatists and bring to an end the unrest in the Valley since the July 8 killing of militant Burhan Wani.
A major grouse of different stakeholders who met the delegation in Srinagar was that in the past, there was no follow-up action from the Centre after the visits of all-party delegations and interlocutor groups.
CPI leader D Raja, who was part of the delegation, said only Geelani did not meet them. “The others, Yasin Malik, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Shabir Shah met us. They said they have taken a decision not to discuss any issue. But they thanked us. And they were not hostile to the delegation,” Raja said.
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While in Srinagar, Raja along with CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav and RJD’s Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav had met Malik, Mirwaiz and Shah. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi had separately met Mirwaiz and Shah.
Ahead of the follow-up meeting of the all-party delegation, NCP leader Tariq Anwar said: “Some concrete proposals should come. The issue there is very delicate. We have seen what has been achieved by adopting a hard line. This has not yielded any result. Something needs to be offered, some initiatives will be taken to reach out to the youths there.”
“What we could gather from the two-day interaction with various stakeholders in the Valley is that there is anger against the previous governments, including that of the Congress, for making big promises but doing nothing to fulfil them. This needs to be rectified,” Anwar said.
Sharad Yadav said it remains to be seen what proposals the government brings Wednesday. “We will first see what does the government do. Whenever Delhi makes right moves, the situation in Kashmir improves,” he said.
INLD MP Dushyant Chautala, who had visited the Badami Bagh Army cantonment to inquire about the injured soldiers, said: “Many soldiers are also injured. I met security personnel and heard their version as well. Their side of the story should also be told.”
The Congress, which thinks it has as much stake in Kashmir’s politics as the PDP and NC, wants to tread slowly, carefully. It has decided to propose that the PDP and NC should first give in writing their solution for the Kashmir issue.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ambika Soni were part of the delegation but it is learnt that only Kharge will attend the follow-up meeting Wednesday.