PDP Threatens To Pull Out Of Peace Efforts

PDP Threatens To Pull Out Of Peace Efforts

19 September 2010
The Economic Times


New Delhi: PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti has threatened to reconsider her party’s co-operation with an all-party delegation, which begins its two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, accusing the state government of trying to sabotage the visit. “If the repressive measures (curfew in the Kashmir valley) continue, we will have to reconsider our decision,” Ms Mufti was quoted by news agencies as saying in Srinagar on Sunday. Curfew continued for the seventh consecutive day in several parts of the valley. “The common people’s plight needs to heard. The real problem of the people is not being exposed. No food is being transported, medical supplies don’t reach hospitals, mobile connections are disconnected. You have to reach out beyond what the party wants to see, they have to make an effort to reach out to the common masses...the government is beating people,” Ms Mehbooba said. She also dubbed the all-party visit as a delayed response, but said the delegation should meet even the “voices of dissent”. PDP leader Mufti Mohammed Syed had conveyed to Left leaders - Mr Prakash Karat and Mr A B Bardhan - that the delegation should try to reach out to all, including pro-Pakistani hard-liner of the Hurriyat faction, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. However, Mr Geelani said he would not meet the all-party delegation as any dialogue would be futile until “India accepts Kashmir as an international dispute” and agrees to withdraw its troops. He issued a statement saying the mandate of the delegation was to meet people who were prepared to discuss the Kashmir problem within the framework of the Indian Constitution. “We stand for the right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir, to decide their political future. This cannot be achieved within the framework of the Indian Constitution, which maintains that Kashmir is an integral part of India,” he said. The 38-member all-party delegation, to be led by home minister P Chidambaram, will leave on a special flight to Srinagar for a two-day visit to the state. The delegation’s mission is to assess the ground situation and meet various separatist groups in the state, which has been witnessing unrest since June. Among the invitees are also leader of the moderate Hurriyat Conference group Mirwaiz Umer and JKFL chief Yaseen Malik. Though there is acknowledgement on part of all political parties that the initiative is unlikely to result in an immediate solution to the Kashmir crisis, they agree that it would send a “we are with you” message to the people of the beleagured state.


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