Separatists reject Jammu-Kashmir CM Mehbooba’s invitation for talks

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 Peoples Democratic Party chief, separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (both of separate Hurriyat Conference factions) and Yasin Malik of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front 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.”

Given this situation, it is “not surprising that even now her (Mehbooba’s) dominant concern, as expressed in her letter, is to ‘lend credence and credibility’ to the Indian Parliamentary delegation visiting Kashmir avowedly to ascertain wishes of the people.”

Commenting on Mehbooba “outburst” during a press conference with Rajnath Singh recently, the separatists said “that seemed to even embarrass” the union minister.