December 2016 News

Credit To Sinha-led Group For Kashmir Situation?

20 December 2016
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: The situation in strife-torn Kashmir has improved considerably after senior BJP leader and ex-finance minister Yashwant Sinha-led five-member delegation's two visits and their talks with separatist leaders, the Chief Minister and Governor. The delegation comprising ex-chairperson of National Commission for Minorities Wajahat Habibullah, former Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, veteran journalist Bharat Bhushan and executive director of the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation Sushobha Barve had visited Kashmir on October 25. It had again visited on December 10. 'The situation is better now. The separatist leaders have been released and they are meeting each other. The education system is back on track. Schools are open and examination has been held. How much credit we want to take? We don't want to take credit for anything,' Wajahat Habibullah had told reporters during the delegation's second visit to the Valley. The Sinha-led delegation has claimed credit for the improvement in the situation after its visits. The separatist leaders, who were calling the shots, refused to meet MPs, who were part of the All Party Delegation and had gone to meet them on September 5. However, they had no objection to meeting the Sinha delegation. Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who refused to the open door of his house to MPs, met Sinha's group at his Hyderpora residence and held an hour-long meeting. After their visit, the coalition government in the State eased restrictions and allowed separatists Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik to hold a meeting with civil society members and traders among others.