Centre should start dialogue on Kashmir issue: Delegation
A delegation of MPs and civil society members, who are on a "fact-finding" tour of Jammu and Kashmir, today asked the Centre to start a dialogue process for resolution of Kashmir issue and include separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani in it.india Updated: Dec 04, 2010 13:37 IST
A delegation of MPs and civil society members, who are on a "fact-finding" tour of Jammu and Kashmir, on Saturday asked the Centre to start a dialogue process for resolution of Kashmir issue and include separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani in it.
After holding an hour-long meeting with Geelani at his residence, delegation members led by Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters that they had come to follow up on the visit of the all-party delegation led by Home Minister P Chidambaram, who visited the Valley in September.
"We are happy to note that the situation in Kashmir is peaceful after the visit of the all-party delegation. The Government announced an eight-point package after the visit but there is no visible implementation of these steps on ground," he said.
Paswan, who was speaking on behalf of the delegation members said, "Government should start a dialogue on Kashmir issue and include leaders like Geelani in it."
The LJP president expressed dissatisfaction with the appointment and functioning of three interlocutors appointed by the Centre for holding talks with the cross section of the society.
"There is no political representative in the group and they have not been able to take the Kashmiri leadership on board," he said.
Paswan said the government should make public the number of youth arrested under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and those released after the announcement of the eight-point package by the Centre.
"The government should also make public the number of security bunkers removed from Kashmir," he said.
On the five points, which include declaring Kashmir as a dispute, as suggested by Geelani before starting a dialogue process, Paswan said, "While there might be difficulties for the Government over the dispute part, the other four suggestions can be implemented for starting talks."
He said he would raise in Parliament the "continuous" house arrest of Geelani. "If it is true that Geelani has been put under house arrest for such a long time, we will raise it in Parliament. It is wrong and if it is necessary, the Government should officially declare it."
Geelani said he was not against dialogue for resolution of Kashmir issue but the process has to be result-oriented and meaningful.
"We are not against the dialogue process but it has to be result-oriented and meaningful. Otherwise, there have been many dialogues over the past 63 years but Kashmir issue is still lingering," he said.
First Published: Dec 04, 2010 13:35 IST