Srinagar: Notwithstanding a formal refusal by the pro-freedom leadership in Kashmir to meet them, the visiting All Parties Delegation called on secessionists at their residences in a bid to restore peace in the Valley.
What is considered as a welcome call across the political spectrum, a five-member delegation headed by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury first called on chairman of his faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani this afternoon to set different tune of the visit.
In his meeting, Geelani reiterated his minimum five-point charter of demands for restoring normalcy while asserting to the visiting delegates that the road to peace was linked to â€œaccepting hard realities on Kashmir.â€
â€œNew Delhi has no legitimacy over Kashmir and you people in your sincere effort need to aware people of India as well as political leadership and discuss the question of Jammu and Kashmir as a dispute. We are not seeking something that is an integral part of India but an internationally acclaimed dispute,â€ he said when Yechury pleaded for restoration of normalcy with the veteran leader.
Geelani as questioned futility of the past talks over the Kashmir. â€œSince 1947, over 150 dialogues had taken place on the vexed issue without yielding any result. You need to introspect on what led to the failure of these talks.â€ â€œThere are UN resolutions on Kashmir and the solution lies in it only. There is urgent need to accept these hard realities,â€ he said to response of â€˜yesâ€™ from a delegate who remarked that â€œit (Kashmir) has historical milieu.
One of the delegates, Asaduddin Owaisi said that entire India was concerned about the â€œkilling of innocentsâ€ in the Valley and even made a remark that â€œtwo mistakes canâ€™t be termed as correct.â€
Geelani reiterated his five point demands for reviewing the ongoing strike protests.
The minimum necessary conditions set forth by Geelani including that India must agree Jammu Kashmir as an international dispute, Announce and begin the process of complete demilitarization, to be monitored by some credible agency like UN, Repeal â€œblack lawsâ€ such as AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act), PSA (Public Safety Act), Immediate and unconditionally release of detainees and booking perpetrators of â€˜state violenceâ€™ that claimed over 100 people.
Though Geelani had officially refused to meet them, he had however said that the delegation members would not be turned away if they decide to call on him at his house as they were guests.
A separate five member delegation also met Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who also held that the right to self determination was the only solution to the Kashmir issue.
â€œWe donâ€™t want economic package or job, solution lies in Right to self determination,â€ Mirwaiz, who is also a religious cleric, told the delegation headed by senior Left and CPI leader, Gurudas DasGupta.
However, senior Left leader Gurudas DasGupta rejected mandate to talk about Azadi. â€œWe have even told Geelani sahib, we are already to accept four of his demands except for succession from India,â€ Gupta was heard on television as most part of conversation was aired live by the â€˜nationalâ€™ news channels.
Mirwaiz also asked the delegates to visit common people on streets to know what they want.
A five-member delegation headed by Lok Janshakti Party President Ram Vilas Paswan called on chief of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Yaseen Malik to know his views.
Earlier, a 39-member delegation headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram arrived in Srinagar and had meetings with various mainstream political parties including ruling National Conference, Congress and opposition Peoples Democratic Party.