Kashmir interlocutors a futile move, says Geelani

The hardline Hurriyat Conference on Wednesday described the Centre's appointment of a 3-member team of interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir as a futile exercise while the moderate faction said a Parliamentary panel would have been an appropriate forum to reach out to the people.

"This is a futile exercise. The government of India is acting like a deaf and dumb," Syed Ali Shah Geelani, head of the hardline Hurriyat faction, told reporters here.

He was reacting to the appointment of journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, Prof Radha Kumar and Information Commissioner M M Ansari as Centre's interlocutors to hold talks with all shades of opinion, including separatists, in the state.

Geelani said no dialogue could be held for the resolution of the Kashmir issue unless the Centre acts on the five-point proposal mooted by him in August this year to normalise the situation in the Valley.

"We have given the five-point formula. Instead of reacting to it, they are beating about the bush," he said.

The Hurriyat hawk had demanded the Centre accept Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed case. He also sought the release of all political prisoners, the withdrawal of armed forces from the state, an end to "human rights violations" and the arrest of security personnel responsible for civilian killings during the recent unrest in the Valley.

The moderate Hurriyat Conference, led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, said: "Kashmir is a political problem and political intervention is needed to address it."

Several such committees in the past had yielded nothing, Mirwaiz said after consulting executive members of his amalgam over appointment of the interlocutors.

Any process aimed at addressing the Kashmir issue should be serious recognising the political problem, the Hurriyat dove said.

A Parliamentary panel, representing all shades of opinion, would have been an appropriate forum for reaching out to people of Kashmir, he said.

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