The hardline Hurriyat Conference, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, on Monday ruled out talks with the Central government unless it accepted Kashmir as a dispute.
It, however, said the amalgam would continue to make efforts to reach out to the people, and hit out at the ruling National Conference for "betraying Kashmiris time and again". Unless the Central government "admits the disputed nature of Kashmir, no talks will be held with it," Geelani said in a statement here.
He was reacting to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's suggestion that the separatist leadership should hold talks with the Centre.
Yesterday, Omar said "If they (separatists) can hold talks with Parliamentarians and the Pakistan High Commissioner (in Delhi), what is the problem in talking to the Central government." Geelani, however, said "we will continue our efforts to reach out to the people and will not hesitate in meeting those who come to meet us minus official patronage."
Launching a scathing attack on the ruling National Conference, the Hurriyat hawk said its leadership had betrayed the people of Kashmir time and again. He dubbed NC partriarch and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah as a "puppet of rulers."