Thursday, February 24, 2011

Interlocutors finally invite separatists for talks @

Interlocutors finally invite separatists for talks @

Interlocutors finally invite separatists for talks

Punjab Newsline Network
Sunday, 20 February 2011
By Bashir Assad

SRINAGAR: Srinagar/Feb19; the Interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir have finally invited the Kashmiri Separatist leaders to talks, the invitations have been sent to the leaders both online and through especial branch of Jammu and Kashmir police.

In a fresh attempt to reach out to the separatist camp in Jammu and Kashmir, the Interlocutors headed by Dilip Padgoanker have sent invitations to Sayed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Naeem Ahmad Khan, Sajad Gani Lone and others.

Dilip Padgaonkar, sent the invitation to Geelani via email. “We want to hear from you and discuss Kashmir problem with you. You are free to decide the venue and the time,” the invitation read.

Geelani has been told in the invitation that even if he isn’t ready to meet the interlocutors, he can send his views in a written note. “Even if you don’t want to meet us, we are eager to hear from you and you can send your proposal to us in a written format,” it added.

Confirming the invitation, a Hurriyat (G) leader said that decision over it would be taken once Geelani is back from New Delhi. “Geelani sahib is coming back from New Delhi on February 22 and after that we will take a decision on interlocutors’ invitation.”

Radha Kumar, one of the interlocutors said that besides Geelani invitation has been sent to Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Hurriyat (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Peoples Conference leader, Sajjad Lone. “ I believe the invitations have been sent to these leaders but I don’t know whether the list of the invitees has been broadened as I had requested Dilip to invite the all the concerned” Radha told this correspondent over phone from Delhi.

Sources said that interlocutors have urged New Delhi to listen to separatists which would carry forward the dialogue process. “The interlocutors in their final report to the union home ministry have urged New Delhi to revoke Armed Forced Special Powers Act from certain areas of J&K, releasing political prisoners and inviting separatists for dialogue. They have also advised New Delhi that unless some Confidence Building Measures aren’t taken,” they said.

Meanwhile Shabir Ahmad Shah also confirmed that the Interlocutors have sent them an invitation letter. “ Yes, I received the letter only today which was handed over to me personally by SP Special Branch Abid Qadoos this afternoon” Shabir told this correspondent telephonically.

JKLF Chief, Yasin Malik, when contacted said that he is not in a position to comment on this issue today but will definitely talk about it tomorrow.

Naeem Khan, however, said that he has not received the invitation.

The interlocutors – Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and economist, M M Ansari – were appointed in October last year after the summer unrest in the Kashmir Valley in which over 100 people were killed. So far, the separatists have refused to talk to the interlocutors.

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