Centre’s package an eyewash, says Geelani

Terming the Centre's concessions as an eyewash, separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani said there would be no review of the current protests in the Valley unless New Delhi responds positively to his five conditions. However, the moderates led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik chose to hold back their response for the present.

"The concessions have nothing that show New Delhi is serious about resolution of Kashmir," said Geelani, adding that New Delhi was refusing to "forego its economic package mindset" on the Valley.

The spokesman for his Hurriyat faction, Ayaz Akber, said the starting point for any engagement with the Centre was the five demands laid down by Geelani, which includes the acknowledgement of Kashmir as an international dispute and beginning the process of demilitarisation. The faction has issued a fresh 10-ten day protest.

"The concessions are a diversion from the real issue at stake — the resolution of Kashmir," said Akber. "There is no departure from the past positions on Kashmir," he said.

Meanwhile, the mainstream parties have welcomed the Centre's move. "It is a good beginning and needs follow-up that could lead to final resolution of the issue," said senior NC leader Mehbooba Baig.

Saying this was a good beginning, PDP spokesman Nayeem Akhtar said: "However, the initiative needs to be built upon. We will seek larger political measures that could lead to final resolution of the problem."

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