Parliamentary-civil society team meets separatists
After meeting prominent separatist leaders of Kashmir, the 'Parliamentary-civil society' team on its second day of visit to the valley raised its pitch over the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act and withdrawal of troops. Ashiq Hussain reports.india Updated: Dec 04, 2010 18:11 IST
After meeting prominent separatist leaders of Kashmir, the 'Parliamentary-civil society' team on its second day of visit to the valley raised its pitch over the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and withdrawal of troops.
The delegation led by Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan urged the centre for resumption of dialogue and include hard-line Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and moderate separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq into it.
The delegation comprising many parliamentarians stated that they would be raising the issue of Kashmir in the next session of Parliament.
Paswan said that barring the demand of accepting Kashmir as a dispute, centre should have no problem in considering the other four demands of Geelani.
"Whether Kashmir is disputed or not, there can be difference of opinion on the issue but nothing has been done on the other issues like withdrawal of troops," Pasawan said after meeting Geelani and Mirwaiz at their respective residences in Srinagar.
"Government can move ahead on these issues which it is not doing," he said.
"Last time we came representing Indian government and met people. This time we came independently and met family of Tufail Matoo (school boy killed in police action on June 11), but nothing has happened on ground. Why haven't deteneus been released? Why is AFSPA not being revoked? Why are children being detained under Public Safety act?" he questioned.
Led by Paswan, the 11-member team comprising of seven political groups and three civil society members and drawn up by New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Analysis (CPA), are on a three-day fact finding mission to Kashmir.
Paswan castigated government for not fully implementing the recommendations of All Party Delegation which visited Kashmir in September.
He said that Political leaders should have been selected as interlocutors.
"Besides Kashmiri leaders should have been included in the dialogue which has not happened. People of Kashmir are hurt," he said.
"Dialogue should be started and leaders like Geelani, Mirwaiz and Yasin Malik should be included into it. Government should start somewhere," he stated, flanked by other members of the delegation.
Paswan said that the all party delegation has also recommended of an enquiry into the 111 killings. "But nothing has been done on this demand," he revealed.
"We would be raising various issues of Kashmir in Parliament," he said.
The delegation also met People's Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti. In the evening they were expected to meet separatist leader Shabir Shah.
The members of delegation include Shoaib Iqbal of Lok Janshakti Party, Gopal Choudary of Communist Party of India (Marxist), D Raja of Communist party of India, Namo Nageshwar Rao of Telgu Desham Party, Danish Ali of Janta Dal (Secular), Maheshwar Hazari of Janta Dal (United), Shahid Siddiqui of Rashtriya Lok Dal, film maker Mahesh Bhatt, journalist Seema Mustafa and academician Prof Kamal Chenoy.
First Published: Dec 04, 2010 18:07 IST