J-K CM Mehbooba Mufti invites separatists for talks with all-party delegation | india-news | Hindustan Times
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J-K CM Mehbooba Mufti invites separatists for talks with all-party delegation

india Updated: Sep 04, 2016 01:04 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Mehbooba Mufti

File photo of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. She wrote to separatist leaders on Saturday, asking them to take part in the all-party delegation reaching Srinagar on Sep 4, 2016.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday wrote to separatist groups and asked them to take the lead and engage with the all-party delegation reaching Srinagar on Sunday.

In her letter, she asked the separatists to suggest a time and place of their convenience for the meeting.

“Everybody...mainstream as well as separatists are equally concerned, albeit in our own way, about the existing situation in the Valley. Notwithstanding the fact that you and I have different and divergent political ideologies, I have no doubt that all of us have the best interest of the people of J&K in mind,” she wrote.

“True, our politics and programs are at variance with each other, but our concerns for our people and society in general, and the future of our youth in particular, should not be any different”.

The CM said that she was writing as president of the J&K Peoples Democratic Party and added that this will be the start of a credible and meaningful political dialogue and resolution process to end the stalemate.

“Cutting across party lines and political positions, the country’s political leadership has reached out and it is for us to collectively lend it credence and credibility,” wrote Mehbooba.

“To convert our conviction and commitment of a peaceful and prosperous J&K into reality, it is important that you share your thoughts and beliefs with this distinguished group who represent the people of India and not only the Government of India.”

A 27-member all-party delegation led by home minister Rajnath Singh and finance minister Arun Jaitley is slated to hold interactions with various sections in the state on September 4 in the wake of the latest violence in Kashmir that has left 72 people dead.

However, separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani refused to meet the delegation.

Dubbing it as a meaningless photo session, Hurriyat hardliner Geelani said the MPs in the delegation have neither the mandate nor “the intention to resolve the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir”.

The chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference asked India to accept the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir and start demilitarisation in the state.

“Indian parliamentarians should have a special session of Parliament where they should accept the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir to pave the way for holding referendum in the state to settle this issue permanently, peacefully and democratically,” Geelani said in a statement on Friday.

Read | Oppn pitches for talks with Hurriyat ahead of all-party team’s Kashmir visit

Earlier on Saturday, Mehbooba Mufti reiterated the urgency of initiating unconditional and productive dialogue with Hurriyat Conference to resolve the Kashmir issue and make peace a reality in the Valley.

“The country’s political leadership must, without further delay, reach out and engage with all sections of society, including leaders of the Hurriyat Conference in a productive dialogue process to resolve the issue and make peace a reality in Jammu and Kashmir,” the CM said while interacting with people at Kalroo village in Kund area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

Mehbooba had gone to offer condolences to the bereaved family of Mashooq Ahmad Sheikh, who was killed in firing by security forces last month. Last month, too, she met a few victims’ families in south Kashmir.

The 19-year-old Mashooq Ahmad Sheikh was killed in clashes with security forces in July. The chief minister’s visit, however, was followed by protests and stone pelting in the area. Eyewitnesses said Mehbooba’s cavalcade, too, was not spared.

The all-party delegation is likely to reach the Valley at 9 am. Meetings are scheduled from 11am till evening. While the delegation is likely to meet Mehbooba in the morning, it would be followed by meetings with delegations of mainstream parties. The delegation is also likely to meet Governor NN Vohra in the afternoon. After 2 pm, the MPs may proceed for any unscheduled meetings.