Both Factions Of Hurriyat Reject Centre’s Offer Of Dialogue7 August 2010
Srinagar: A day after the Centre tried to reach out to the separatists and asked them to participate in a dialogue, both factions of the Hurriyat Conference have rejected its talks offer. Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who recently came out against violence in Kashmir, said “I strongly reject the talks offer.... “We will not enter into a dialogue with New Delhi, quiet or open, unless India recognises Kashmir as dispute and agrees to complete withdrawal of army from the state,” the separatist leader told reporters here today. However, he said, “If this is done, then a dialogue could be held to discuss the technicalities of implementing U.N. resolutions“. Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who heads the Hurriyat’s moderate faction, said there “is no scope for talks” in the present situation. “Where is the scope for engagement, when a reign of terror has been let loose by them against the people for demanding their basic right?,” Mr. Mirwaiz told PTI. Referring to the statement of Home Minister P. Chidambaram in Parliament, Mr. Geelani said, “It (talks offer) is a conspiracy to discredit me. Chidambaram should bear in mind that my only objective behind appealing our angry youth protesting against the unabated killings on streets, was to prevent further loss of life.” At the same time, Mr. Geelani renewed his appeal to the youths not to indulge in violence and arson in the Valley, saying such actions were damaging “our cause” and giving an opportunity to others to project the “movement” in bad light in international fora. Mr. Mirwaiz said that the Hurriyat had proposed to the Centre certain necessary steps to take the process of engagement forward. He said the steps were “demilitarisation and lifting the overwhelming security apparatus form Kashmir, revoking the various special repressive laws including the AFSPA and Public Safety Act and release of all political prisoners. “But unfortunately no heed was paid, exhibiting Government’s lack of sincerity and will and in turn discrediting the whole process of engagement,” he alleged. Home Minister Chidambaram had yesterday asked the separatists to participate in a dialogue which the Centre intends to resume. “I will resume the political process.... I have impressed upon all interlocutors that I am willing to resume the quiet dialogue. We have to find courage that allows to hold dialogue. We have to get on,” the Minister had said in the Rajya Sabha and “sincerely hoped” that the separatist leaders, including Mr. Geelani, would come forward for talks.