December 2016 News

To Sense Situation, Sinha Again In Kashmir

10 December 2016
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: A three-member delegation headed by former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha Saturday arrived in Srinagar to 'gauge the mood' in the wake of five-month long unrest triggered by the killing of Hizbul Muhajideen commander Burhan Wani in Kashmir. The delegation today met senior separatist leader Aga Syed Al Mousvi, while it is likely to meet Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik in the days ahead. The delegation is also set to meet civil society members to 'build their fresh opinion' about Kashmir issue, reliable sources privy to the visit told Greater Kashmir. This is the second visit by Sinha-led delegation in the past three months. The team had arrived in Srinagar in October and held deliberations with Geelani and Mirwaiz while they couldn't meet the JKLF chairman. Sinha reached Srinagar along with journalist Bharat Bhushan and Sushoba Barve from Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation. The team straightway drove to the residence of senior separatist leader Aga Syed Al Mousvi in Central Kashmir's Budgam district. Former bureaucrat and a track-two diplomat, Wajahat Habibullah is scheduled to arrive in Srinagar Sunday. 'Yes, I am arriving on Sunday while other two members including retired Air Vice-Marshal Kapil Kak and senior Congress leader Manish Tiwari will also join the delegation in a day or two,' Habibullah said. 'This time the delegation will try to meet common people from North, Central and South Kashmir.' The delegation held deliberations for at least one hour with the separatist leader Aga Syed Al-Mousvi. 'During my conversation, I stressed on the permanent resolution of Kashmir issue as per the aspirations of people of J&K. I stated that since 1947 people of Kashmir were given assurances and promises on different platforms and by different dignitaries,' Aga said. 'I told the delegation that the current movement can be eye opener for India. I told them that Kashmir issue must be viewed on humanitarian and democratic grounds and the ground reality must be assessed.' Aga said he stressed that unless the root cause is addressed nothing can bring any change on the ground. 'I made it a point that a meaningful, time bound, and result oriented dialogue process should start between India and Pakistan with all the stakeholders on board. I stressed that we must understand the people of Kashmir are under distress for almost 70 years and it should not extend more; above all its a humanitarian issue,' he said. Pertinently, the Sinha-led delegation after its previous visit to Kashmir had released a report highlighting as 'major reasons for anger' the excessive use of force by the forces, use of pellet guns, night raids by forces, and misuse of PSA. The panel had recommended slew of measures including re-opening of schools with the immediate release of all the students and minors. The panel had recommended relief for the next of kin of the civilians killed since July 8, besides a life-time rehabilitation package for those blinded by the pellets. The panel had demanded immediate ban on the pellet guns.

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