37 Separatists Invited For Talks15 February 2011
Srinagar: Stating that the decision on reduction in the number of paramilitary troopers from Kashmir comes under the purview of Home Ministry and not the army, the New Delhi-appointed interlocutors Tuesday said that they have sent formal invitation for talks to 37 Kashmiri separatist leaders. Sources close to the interlocutors told Rising Kashmir that during a closed-door interaction with the students at Jamia Millia Islamia University, one of the interlocutors while replying to a query about army’s reservation about Home Secretary G K Pillai’s troop-cut announcement recently, said:“The paramilitary forces and the army come under two different authorities. Army comes under defence while paramilitary comes under Home Ministry. The two should not be misinterpreted. Any decision taken on reduction of paramilitary is out of army’s domain.” Notably, the Army had expressed reservation after Pillai announced that 10,000 troops will be withdrawn from the valley. It has been said that the troop withdrawal was recommended by the three-member panel. Meanwhile, the K panel has said that it has sent invitations to 37 separatists, including toprung leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik. “We have sent letters to 37 separatists, including both the well-known and lesser-known leaders,” Dilip Padgaonkar, who heads the panel, told Rising Kashmir over phone from New Delhi. He said letters have been sent and the separatists will receive these “on time. It is upto them; if they do not want to meet us, they should at least give us their written stand,” he added. The panel is likely to visit the state on Feb 21, sources said. However, the separatist leaders Tuesday claimed they have received no letter as of date. “We have not received any letter. Letters and invitations do not matter much until our five suggestions are not acted upon,” Chairman Hurriyat (G) Syed Ali Geelani told Rising Kashmir on phone from New Delhi. “No dialogue will be held until there is action on our proposed points,” Geelani said. Chairman JKLF Muhammad Yasin Malik also confirmed that he has not received any invitation letter yet.