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Sitaram Yechury at SKICC Srinagar on September 04, 2016.
Sitaram Yechury at SKICC Srinagar on September 04, 2016.

Communist leader Sitaram Yechury says that India must go to the 1948 position to reassure Kashmir that it cares about them. He had meetings with some of the resistance leaders and is keen to follow up unlike 2010.

“We have a position on Kashmir and it is quite public,” Yechury told Kashmir Life on Monday before the All Party Delegation left for Jammu. “We know the position of the government so we are willing to start ahead of even 1952. Why cannot we start from 1948 itself?”

Yechury said he is “genuinely concerned” over the happenings in Kashmir. He said the people are being killed and injured in massive use of force by the state apparatus which should stop forthwith.

The veteran Left leader was one of the few Indian lawmakers who had pressurized the BJP led Union government to send an all-party delegation.

Once in Srinagar, he was one of the first few to drive out of the fortified SKICC for meeting the resistance leaders.

MP Sharad Yadav and other MPs walking towards the gate of Syed Ali Geelani's residence at Hyderpora on September 04, 2016. (KL Image: Mehraj Bhat)
MP Sharad Yadav and other MPs walking towards the gate of Syed Ali Geelani’s residence at Hyderpora on September 04, 2016. (KL Image: Mehraj Bhat)

Accompanied by D Raja, and Sharad Yadav, he reached Hyderpora but the doors were not opened. He approached Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah as well.

“We wanted to tell him (Geelani that) we sympathised with the people of Kashmir, that we wanted unconditional talks with all stakeholders and that it was important that dialogue is initiated,” Yechury later said, insisting for a sustainable solution “(they) will have to come through talks”.

Sharad Yadav, (JD-U leader) said the purpose of visiting Geelani’s residence was “to find a way to restore peace”. “Whether anyone will talk or not, we will continue to reach out.”

Yechury said he was not upset over not being granted access. He admits that he had a long meeting with Geelani at his residence last time and may be the failure in follow up was the reason. The veteran communist leader said he will be pursuing it and following it up.

“I am not upset over the closed doors,” Yechury said. “We wanted to communicate them that there are political parties in India who believe that the government in Kashmir is not the sole stakeholder and there has to be efforts to reach out to different stakeholders and talk to them unconditionally.”

“But this is not incorrect that we did not talk,” Yechury said. “It is a fact that all the separatist leaders said they have decided against talking and we respect that but it is also a fact that we talked and obviously it was not about weather.”

He said they spent enough time with them. “This should to be an end and the efforts must continue,” he said. Before Yechury left for Jammu, he got a message from one of the separatist leader “thanking him for the meeting”.

But, Yechury insisted that the idea is to “walk the talk and take it to a level where solutions would emerge”.

Earlier, Owaisi told some TV channel that he met Shabir Shah and offered Asr prayers in the hut-turned-sub-jail at Chasma Shahi. The Hyderabad lawmaker had failed in talking to Mirwaiz, who is also his friend.

Shah was lodged in Rajbagh police Station before being shifted to Chasma Shahi on Sunday ahead of Owaisi’s visit.

Unlike Yechury, the Home Minister Rajnath Singh regretted that by not meeting some of the delegation members, separatists had “disrespected” “Kashmiriyat and Insaaniyat”.

He insisted more than twice that “some members” who had gone for outreach to Hurriyat Conference had gone in their “individual capacities”.

He was desperate to explain that when the issue of reaching out to separates was raised, “we neither say yes nor no”.

Interestingly, he avoided responding to the question that why Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti wrote to resistance leadership in capacity of PDP president and not as Chief Minister.

The all party delegation (APD) met at least 200 people including all pro-India parties on Sunday and official sources said that before leaving for Jammu this morning the APD met around 300 people from “all sections of society”.


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