Yashwant Sinha-led delegation winds up Kashmir visit

Yashwant Sinha said the delegation, which does not have any official status, met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti yesterday and Governor N N Vohra today.

By: PTI | Srinagar | Updated: October 28, 2016 4:19 pm
Srinagar: Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, talking to media persons in Srinagar on Tuesday after a meeting. PTI Photo by S Irfan(PTI10_26_2016_000147B) Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, talking to media persons in Srinagar on Tuesday after a meeting. PTI Photo

The five-member civil society delegation led by senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Thursday completed its three-day visit to Kashmir during which it met various stakeholders to “understand the situation” and “share the pain” of the people. The delegation will now discuss the future course of action after meeting in Delhi.

“We came here to understand the situation and share the pain of the people. We will sit down (after going back to Delhi) and see how we can proceed further,” Sinha told reporters after completing meetings with various sections in the valley, including separatists.

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Sinha said the delegation, which does not have any official status, met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti yesterday and Governor N N Vohra today.

Since its arrival here on Tuesday, the delegation met hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Abdul Gani Bhat and representatives of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry — the apex trade body of Kashmir.

Sinha, former External Affairs Minister, disagreed when asked whether the meeting with the separatists could be seen as a breakthrough since they opened their doors to the delegation members unlike the members of all-party delegation who were turned away by Geelani earlier in September.

“It was good on their part they decided to meet us. We had extensive discussions with various stakeholders here,” he said.

The other delegation members — Wajahat Habibullah, the former chairman of National Commission for Minorities, Kapil Kak, former Air Vice-Marshall, Journalist Bharat Bhushan and Sushoba Barve of Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation — met Geelani again today.