Syed Ali Geelani, the separatist leader, has declined an offer of talks made by an official of the Intelligence Bureau, saying “it is nothing more than a tactic to buy time by New Delhi.” The offer, according to a Geelani aide, was made to Geelani on the night of Thursday, which the leader rejected.
“On Thursday night an IB official proposed a dialogue between New Delhi and Syed Ali Geelani. However, GeelaniSahab declined the offer, saying that until the Kashmir dispute is addressed in its historical perspective and India acknowledges the disputed status of the Kashmir and starts demilitarization to hold a referendum, holding any talks carries no meaning,” said G.A. Gulzar, the spokesperson of Hurriyat (G), quoting his leader.
In a statement released to the press, Geelani is quoted as saying, “Kashmir issue has turned into a flash point and until India accepts its disputed nature, no progress is expected and horrors of war will haunt people living in sub-continent. The people of J&K are peace-loving, and Indian leaders can play a key role in resolving the issue by respecting their aspirations, instead of adopting coercive measures,”
“They should shun fanatical politics because the need of the hour is to acknowledge the ground realities of the long-pending Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” Geelani told the IB official, adding that “Kashmiri people have never accepted or acknowledged the forced control of India and they are at war with this country (India) for the past seven decades. We have been time and again demanding that people should be allowed to express their aspiration about political future and destiny of state,” said Geelani in the statement.
“The volatile situation in Jammu and Kashmir is a natural reaction against India’s stubborn attitude. Delhi is desperately trying to impose its verdict on the state through military might. Instead of adopting the political and sane approach they are following their coercive measures and carrying bloodshed to suppress our political aspirations,” the statement added.
“Lawlessness is at its peak in Jammu Kashmir. The rampant use of black laws like POTA, AFSPA has become the order of the day and NIA during its raids arrested resistance leadership on fabricated charges and detained them in Tihar jail. The detainees in Tihar and other jails are meted out inhuman and harsh treatment and denied basic amenities as guaranteed in UN charter”, Geelani said, clarifying that “Under such indifferent, apathetic and appalling situation no talks will prove fruitful and result oriented, hence it is responsibility of Indian leadership to prepare conducive atmosphere for talks between all its stakeholders including Pakistan,” read the statement.
The fresh “dialogue offer” from New Delhi comes at a time when many separatists including Shabir Shah and Naeem Ahmad Khan and close aides of Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who were arrested by the National Investigation Agency last year are imprisoned in a New Delhi jail. Among them is also AltafFantoosh, the son-in-law of Geelani.
On Wednesday, family members of the Pakistan-based UGC chief Syed Salah-ud-Din alleged that the NIA was harassing them to put pressure on their father. Three sons of the Hizb chief were taken into custody by NIA in connection with an alleged funding case. Salahuddin’s son-in-law, Muhammad Umar, too was held for questioning. Another son of the Hizb chief, Syed ShahidYousuf, is in the NIA custody since October last year.
The separatists have termed the alleged harassment of their party leaders, families as a ploy by the NIA to force them to enter into dialogue. “Any Kashmiri to be part of this futile exercise will only undermine our internationally acknowledged legitimate and just struggle nourished by the blood of our martyrs and great sacrifices and hardships rendered by the masses”. Geelani said.
This is not for the first time that Geelani has rejected the dialogue offer after the BJP-led NDA rose to power in New Delhi. On 19 April 2014 Geelani claimed that the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, NarendraModi, had sent emissaries to him seeking his help in resolving Kashmir issue but he had rejected the offer. “On March 22, two men came to meet me. They were our Pandit brothers, who sought my help in resolving the Kashmir dispute and even asked me if I wished to talk to Modi. But I rejected the offer,” Geelani had said.
The separatist trio of Geelani, Mirwaiz and JKLF Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik has already refused to meet with Dineshwar Sharma, New Delhi’s special representative for J&K who has been asked to carry a “sustained dialogue” with elected representatives, different organizations and individual in the state.
Since his appointment in October last year Sharma has already made six visit to J&K, but has failed to break ice with the joint the Hurriyat leadership.