September 2, 2016 2:52:37 am
Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has declined to meet the all-party delegation led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, saying he cannot “demonise the sanctity of this grave issue by participating in a photo session or for a cup of tea”. The delegation will arrive in the Valley on Sunday.
In a statement, Geelani said, “We believe that even after deadly conflicts and destructive wars, things are settled only through dialogue. But given the long and deceptive nature of the talks on Kashmir, we have witnessed this exercise more than 150 times without yielding any results till date.”
Geelani said that only if India accepts the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir and starts demilitarisation, they would welcome any move forward. “We cannot demonise the sanctity of this grave issue by participating in a photo session or (meeting) for a cup of tea,” he said, appealing to others not to indulge in such a “futile” exercise.
Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Karan Singh, who arrived in Kashmir Thursday, is expected to meet several political leaders and members of civil society for feedback from the ground, sources said.
Best of Express Premium
Soon after reaching Karan Mahal, Karan Singh — son of Kashmir’s last king Hari Singh — held detailed discussions with former JKPCC president Saifuddin Soz. “We discussed threadbare the current situation in the Valley,’’ Soz said.
Meanwhile, National Panthers Party chairman Bhim Singh said that a committee should be constituted under the chairmanship of Karan Singh and with Hurriyat Conference leaders as members.
🗞 Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.