JK: Delegation split over meeting separatists?

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Sushma Swaraj
Srinagar, Sep 21: While the all-party delegation was applauded for reaching out to the Kashmir separatists, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Sushma Swaraj, who is also part of the delegation, seems to be unhappy.

Swaraj on Tuesday, Sep 21 said that holding talks with separatists was not part of the team"s “mandate".

Saying that the decision was not a collective one, the BJP leader has raised concerns over a possible rift in the delegation, which has been put together to resolve the Kashmir crisis through dialogue.

“That was their own decision, not that of the delegation. If some want to go, how can we stop them? They went but our decision was not to go. So we didn"t go," Swaraj told mediapersonnel when asked about the talks with Separatists.

Three groups from the all-party team met harline separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, at their homes and JKLF chief Yasin Malik at his office on Monday, Sep 20.

She, however, stressed that there was no divide in the delegation over the issue of meeting the separatists.

“Some of the people in the delegation expressed the desire to meet them (separatists). Anyone can go individually. No one can stop them," Swaraj told reporters here.

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