Unauthorised by Cong, Mani Shankar Aiyar Meets Hurriyat Leaders

Aiyar met Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabbir Shah, and SAS Geelani in Srinagar.

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Veteran Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar headed a five-member delegation that met Hurriyat leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabbir Shah, and SAS Geelani in Srinagar on Thursday.

The delegation consisting of retired Air Vice Marshal OP Shah, Kapil Kak, and Vinod Sharma was in Srinagar to attend a seminar organised by an NGO named Peace and Progress.

We came here to prove that it is possible to reach out to every section of Kashmiri opinion. Everyone who has met us has freely expressed their views. The Governor and CM of Jammu & Kashmir have thanked us for coming here.
Mani Shankar Aiyar

The Congress party distanced itself from Aiyar’s initiative, claiming that it had not authorised the visit. The delegation reportedly also offered to meet JKLF chief Yasin Malik, but the latter declined.

It is a window opportunity for PM Modi to hold a referendum here. The decision and will of the people is supreme. The other option is to have tripartite talks. You cannot ignore Pakistan. Pakistan is a party and Kashmir is a long-standing dispute.
Shabbir Shah, JKDFP President

It has to be noted that for external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha had been on a similar visit in 2016, but Geelani demanded release of all youth and separatist leaders as a precursor for talks.

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim

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