Sushma Swaraj says visit to Jammu and Kashmir successful

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Srinagar, Sep 21 (ANI): Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj has said the decision to meet the separatist was not a collective decision of the all party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir.

Talking to reporters during her visit to the Hazratbal Shrine along with other party delegates, Swaraj said that it was not in the mandate to meet the separatists; however some of the individual delegates expressed their desire to meet the separatists, so they did.

"No, no, it was not a mandate. It was not discussed in the delegation. Some of the members expressed their desire to go there. Naturally the delegation leader said you can go," she added.

Swaraj further said that the visit is successful in the sense that we have listened to the people and tried to understand what they are saying.

"Sitting from far you cannot understand the problem, you have to come here and listen to people's point of views from different walks of civil society," she added.

Sushma made these remarks when asked by reporters for her response to discussions three groups from the all-party team had with the separatist leaders after some members went out of their way visiting their homes yesterday.

On Monday, a group of members led by the Left, went to the houses of separatists leaders to ask them to help end the cycle of violence in the Kashmir Valley. But the response was lukewarm.

Earlier, during their interaction with the visiting delegation, the ruling National onference party reiterated its demand for autonomy, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) called for finding an out of box solution while the Congress party stressed to adapt an unconventional approach to restore peace and address the aspirations of people here.

Speaking to reporters, PDP leader Nizamuddin Bhatt said that the present crisis is due to long pending Kashmir issue and recent mishandling of the situation by the Omar Abdullah government.

He said that party renewed its demand for revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and unconditional dialogue with all sections of people.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti did not meet the all party delegation but her party led by Dilawar Mir met the delegation.

Congress party's Jammu and Kashmir unit President and former Union Minister Safuddin Soz said that the party urged the delegation to restore civil liberties of the people in full measure and with dignity.

Soz asserted that dialogue was only way forward and Congress would vigorously facilitate such a process. (ANI)

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