Separatists on Sunday rejected Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s invitation to them for meeting with all-party delegation, terming such a measure as “deceitful” and insisting that it cannot be an alternative to a “transparent agenda-based dialogue to address the core issue”.
A day after Mehbooba invited separatists in her capacity as PDP chief, separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (both of separate Hurriyat Conference factions) and Yasin Malik (of JKLF) issued a joint statement here, rubbishing her and her offer.
“These deceitful methods of crisis management through Parliamentary delegations and Track-Two only prolong the sufferings of the people and can’t take the place of a genuine transparent agenda-based dialogue to address the core issue of the peoples’ right to self-determination in J&K.
“That has been our consistent stand and has been spelled out recently as well in our letters to various international and global fora,” the statement said.
While making it clear that they were not interested in meeting the delegation led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the separatist leaders said one “fails to understand” what hope to attach with a delegation which has not “spelled out its mandate for any engagement on a clear agenda”.
They alleged, “In politics, India has deployed deceit, double talk, themselves and through their quislings, continuously for the past 70 years.”
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met Rajnath Singh and said such efforts have lost credibility as there has hardly been any follow-up after similar visits in the past.
During his hour-long interaction with the delegation, Omar recalled the previous all-party delegation visits since 1990 to Kashmir and said that “Unfortunately when things cool down, there is no progress on the issue”. He said the MPs who have come here this time face a mammoth task in their hands to revive faith in this process.
He said the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao had promised “sky is the limit” but failed to do anything.
“There was a time when my father had conveyed to grant internal autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir and had warned New Delhi that if they continue to deny it, time will come when it will also not be acceptable to people of Jammu and Kashmir. I think we are heading for that time only,” Omar said.
He told the delegation that his workers were pressurizing him not to attend the meeting “such is the situation”.