Mirwaiz describes all-party delegation's visit as a joke

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Srinagar, Sep. 20 (ANI): Moderate Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Monday described the two-day visit of the all-party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir as a joke.

"We are in consultation with our constituents and even like-minded parties outside Hurriyat, including JKLF. It is ironic that on one hand I am invited to meet the delegation, and on the other, I have been placed under house arrest," he said.

He also said the delegation should be focused on not meeting him, but the families of victims who have died because of excessive violence shown by the security forces.

He said look at the Kashmir issue and problem from a human angle.

He said Delhi is not responding to the demands or aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

He was speaking to five members of the all-party delegation.

The leader of that delegation, Gurudas Dasgupta, said the issue raised by the Mirwaiz would be taken up in Parliament at the earliest.

The Mirwaiz said the rest of India was ill-informed about the situation in Kashmir and the plight of the Kashmiri people.

This policy of State terrorism and repression must stop, he said.

Led by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the all-party delegation expects to find ways to restart the dialogue process with different sections of people in Jammu and Kashmir, and specifically in the Kashmir Valley.

The 39-member delegation includes senior parliamentary party leaders such as the BJP's Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Basudeb Acharia of the CPI (M), Gurudas Dasgupta of the CPI and JD (U) president Sharad Yadav.

They will meet different groups, legislators and members of political parties.

The Omar Abdullah-led coalition government in the state had sent out invitations to a cross section of leaders and people to come forward for the interaction.

The delegation will travel to Jammu from Srinagar on Tuesday and hold meetings there before returning to New Delhi on Wednesday.

The Central Government plans to convene a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the third in a little over a week, to take into account the inputs made available by the delegation.

The CCS, which met on Monday last, decided to enlarge the scope of discussion on the situation in the Kashmir Valley by holding an all-party meeting here on Wednesday, when the decision to send an all-party delegation was taken.

Sources said the CCS could be convened to take a view based on the deliberations that the delegation would have with people of the State, and also on withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from various parts of the State.

The armed forces feel that the Act is required for the soldiers to legally operate in the disturbed areas.

The state government, however, has been demanding that the Act be lifted at least from some parts of the Kashmir Valley as a measure to restore normalcy and calm the passions inflamed by the death of civilians in operations by security forces.

In taking a decision, the Central Government would have to keep the sensitivities of Jammu and Ladakh in mind, sources said. (ANI)

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