Separatist leaders on Sunday rebuffed attempts by five opposition members of the all-party delegation to reach out to them as they refused to talk to them, with hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani even refusing to meet them.
Four MPs — CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D. Raja, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and RJD’s Jay Prakash Narayan — went to meet Mr. Geelani at his residence where he is under house arrest for the last 60 days.
They were met with slogans outside the residence whose gate was not opened for them. Mr. Geelani saw them from the window but refused to meet the parliamentarians.
“It is our effort to show that we are ready to talk to anyone whether they agree to meet or not,” Mr. Yadav said.
The group also went to meet JKLF chief Yasin Malik who is under detention at a BSF camp in Humama. He told the MPs that he will talk to them when he visits New Delhi.
The group tried to meet former Hurriyat chairman Abdul Ghani Bhat who also refused to talk to them. Mer. Bhat welcomed the leaders but made it clear it has been decided that no talks will be held with the delegation members.
“This is a futile exercise. Nothing concrete will happen until or unless India talks to Pakistan on Kashmir. We will not be able to arrive at any solution if India only talks to Kashmiris or Pakistan talks to Kashmiris. We should try and solve this issue which can otherwise result in hostilities between the two neighbouring nations,” Mr. Bhat said.
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi went separately to meet moderate Hurriyat leader Miwaiz Umar Farooq at Chashma Shahi where a tourist hut has been converted to a sub-jail.
The Mirwaiz met Mr. Owaisi briefly during which only pleasantries were exchanged.
Separatist leader Shabir Shah was also brought to the sub-jail.
Mr. Owaisi then met Mr. Shah for some 10 minutes but Mr. Shah too made it clear that he was in no mood for any dialogue with the MPs or the government.
Mr. Shah told the media that he only exchanged pleasantries with Mr. Owaisi.
“I told him this is not the way to talk to Kashmiris. You brought me from a police station to a sub-jail and expect me to talk,” Mr. Shah said.
“I have told them clearly that they must first address the situation (in the Kashmir Valley) and then engage in a dialogue with us in a proper manner,” Mr. Shah added.
After Mr. Owaisi’s failed attempt, the group comprising Mr. Yechury, Mr. Yadav, Mr. Raja and Mr. Narayan went to meet the Mirwaiz but could not meet him. They were kept waiting for nearly 25 minutes.