September 2016 News

Geelani's Refusal To Meet All-party Team Gives Govt Handle On Separatists

6 September 2016
Times of India
Akhilesh Singh

New Delhi: The refusal by separatists to meet a section of the all-party delegation and their 'misbehaviour' as they slammed the doors on them is being considered as a major strategic gain by the Centre as it tries to restore normalcy in Kashmir. Government sources say the incident only 'exposed' the separatists and it will help in isolating them and convincing the people in the valley that they (separatists) have no intentions of an amicable solution. On return from the valley at the head of the all-party delegation, home minister Rajnath Singh briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the deliberations. Another all-party meeting will be held in the capital on Wednesday. Opposition parties have often accused the Narendra Modi government of hardening its stance and ignoring the separatist organisations. 'We had our stand clear that separatists could not be considered as stakeholders in deliberations to restore normalcy in the valley as we had strong doubts about their intentions,' said a highly placed government source. He said all eyes were on how things would pan out when a few members from the all-party delegation went to meet the separatist leaders. Under house arrest since July, leader of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani refused to meet Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Sharad Yadav and Jay Prakash Naray an Yadav when they went to his residence. The MPs had broken off from the all-party delegation to make the outreach. However, they were greeted with slogan-shouting by Geelani's supporters outside his house and refused entry. 'Ham chahte the doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani ho jaye (we wanted the truth to come out),' said the source, privy to the entire peace process. Even during all-party meet, government representatives didn't object to opposition leaders' plan to reach out to the separatist organisations as they wanted the latter to be exposed that they don't have an amicable solution on their agenda. 'Separatists just want to retain their relevance by misguiding the people of Kashmir,' said the source. 'The issue of inviting separatists had figured at the allparty meeting as a few parties wanted to call them but we forthrightly said that individuals and parties could take initiatives on their own but the government doesn't see it feasible to talk to them at this juncture,' said a senior leader. Top Comment No more soft piddling . Treat them as terrorists and withdraw all benefits with immediate effect. They should realize either stay with us and maintain sovereignty of India or vacate or last opti... Read MoreMalapaka rama jogeswara sarma (MRJ) Government sources said even they had discussions with J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on the issue and she firmly said that she could talk to the separatists as PDP president but not as the CM. 'We clearly told her that she is heading a collation government and is the CM of both the parties (BJP-PDP). Therefore, she has to keep that technicality in mind as BJP was still not convinced to sit across with the separatists,' he said. He hinted at more stringent measures in the valley to quell the violent protests after the festival season as 'anarchy will not be tolerated'. 'We have already told the state government that violence has to stop, otherwise those indulging in it will be dealt with more sternly,' he said. 'The Mehbooba Mufti government and Centre are on the same page that there should not be any leniency to those indulging in violence.'