Shujaat Bukhari

Declare Kashmir a political issue, demands Mirwaiz

India should accept Kashmir as a disputed territory: Geelani

United Jihad Council for tripartite dialogue

SRINAGAR: Both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference and the United Jihad Council, an umbrella of militant organisations, have rejected the talks offer made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and termed it “hoax”.

On Monday, Dr. Singh said the Centre was ready for a dialogue provided all these groups, outside the political mainstream, shed violence.

The Hurriyat moderate faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the dialogue offers in the past had proved “futile” and would continue to be so “until India declares Kashmir a political issue.” “Such statements are just rhetoric and there is nothing new in it. Any peace process will hold relevance only when India takes certain initiatives like de-militarisation, release of political detainees and repeal of draconian laws,” a local news agency CNS quoted the Mirwaiz as saying.

Syed Ali Geelani-led Hurriyat faction also rejected the offer saying India had since long been using such tactics to deceive the international community. “No talks offer will be accepted until India accepts that Kashmir is a disputed territory,” Mr. Geelani said. “Instead of addressing militants, he [Dr. Singh] should start the withdrawal of troops who are using violence against the innocent Kashmiri people,” Mr. Geelani said. In a statement, the PoK-based United Jihad Council spokesman, Syed Sadaqat Hussain, held “India responsible for the delay in the resolution of Kashmir issue. India has to accept the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir and should be ready for a tripartite dialogue, otherwise every dialogue process will prove futile.”

“If India is sincere about holding talks with the militants, it should repeal the draconian Acts. It should release all innocent detainees and should accept the tripartite status of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.