Separatists reject Mehbooba's invitation for talks

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Srinagar [India], Sept. 4 (ANI): The separatists have rejected Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's invitation for talks with the all-party delegation. This came after Mehbooba appealed to all separatist leaders and other organizations to take the lead and engage with the all-party delegation. She also said the country's political leadership must reach out and engage all sections of society, including the leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, in a productive dialogue process. Mehbooba had earlier written to the separatist leadership requesting them to "take a lead and engage" with the delegation, "which will be the start of a credible and meaningful political dialogue and resolution process." Expressing hope that the separatists would accept her offer, she wrote: "My party has always believed that the Hurriyat Conference is a stakeholder in the peace... and prosperity of the state." Meanwhile, an all-party delegation, led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, presently in Srinagar for an assessment of the situation due to the unrest in the valley met Mehbooba and her predecessor National Conference's Omar Abdullah. During the two-day visit, the delegation will interact with Governor N.N. Vohra and the Chief Minister besides holding meetings with the representatives of all political parties and others. After coming back, the delegation will convene a meeting and give suggestions on the basis of which the Centre will decide its future course of action. Earlier on Saturday, a preparatory meeting of the all-party delegation was held in New Delhi. The delegation was made aware of the prevailing situation in the state and contours of the tour during which they will hold talks with a cross-section of people. Ahead of the visit of the all-party delegation, the Centre approved the use of chilli-filled grenades as an alternative to pellet guns for crowd control. Kashmir has been on the boil since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Wani on July 8 as more than 70 people have lost their lives. (ANI)