What political leaders of Kashmir told the all-party delegation

After a briefing from the chief minister, leaders of NC, Congress, PDP, BJP and smaller parties interacted with the all-party delegation.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar | Updated: September 5, 2016 5:50 am
Sitaram Yechury, D Raja turned away from Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s house. PTI

WHILE THE separatists refused to meet the all-party delegation, representatives of the mainstream parties in the state met the 28-member delegation at Sheri Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar. After a briefing from the chief minister, leaders of NC, Congress, PDP, BJP and smaller parties interacted with the all-party delegation. What they said after the meeting:

OMAR ABDULLAH (National Conference)

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“I am not enthused. I am not expecting any breakthrough from one meeting. I made it very clear to this all-party delegation that lack of follow-up from the previous all-party delegation has discredited this process to a great extent. This all-party delegation has a mammoth task ahead of them to rebuild the lost credibility and we are all responsible for it because we were all part of the 2010 process. They should have followed up as to what happened with the interlocutors’ report. They should have come up with the outcome of that all-party delegation… In 2010, a cross section of people that was willing to meet the all-party delegation was much wider. Today I see a handful of mainstream political parties; the number of groups meeting this all-party delegation is much less in number.”

SARTAJ MADNI (Peoples’ Democratic Party)

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“We mostly talked about the issues that are the founding principles of our party — about peace, dialogue and reconciliation. This is the people’s issue and we want its solution. We have only one political stand. We have said it in the Agenda of Alliance as well.”

G A MIR (Congress)

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“They don’t have any roadmap, any action plan. We did not hear about it (roadmap) even in today’s meeting. We have given them four or five suggestions — we told them to stop raids, use minimum police and announce revocation or suspension of FIRs. On the streets, people are saying now or never. We support the voice of people — that’s why we are here, that’s why we met the President, that’s why we met the Prime Minister.”

M Y TARIGAMI (CPM)

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“We gave specific suggestions to the delegation. This process will remain half-hearted if you don’t address those people — I mean Hurriyat leaders. I told the delegation that the Prime Minister has talked about ‘vikas’ and ‘vishwas’. While vikas (development) is an issue for later, as far as vishwas (trust) is concerned, it at its lowest currently. The country’s leadership hasn’t drawn any lesson from the similar earlier situations.”

ENGINEER RASHID (Awami Ittehad Party)

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“I told them if you make Geelani sahib or Salahuddin Prime Minister, it is not going to resolve this issue. I told them that you have lied so much that nobody is now ready to even listen to your truth. The Congress’s role has been the worst. The Congress is pushing BJP to a hard stand. I told them you talk about hoisting the Tricolour at Muzaffarabad, Mirpur — where is the plan. You can’t go for a war. There is only one way — the right of self-determination.”