Me­hbooba calls on Modi, J&K talks may in­clude sep­a­ratists

KASH­MIR OUT­REACH State govt and Cen­tre likely to al­low all-party del­e­ga­tion to meet Hur­riyat

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ra­jesh Ahuja and Au­rangzeb Naqsh­bandi let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Decks looked clear on Satur­day for a meet­ing be­tween Kash­miri sep­a­ratists and mem­bers of an all-party del­e­ga­tion sched­uled to visit Sri­na­gar early next month.

The Cen­tre and the state gov­ern­ment have agreed no mem­ber of the del­e­ga­tion will be stopped from en­gag­ing with the sep­a­ratists , sources said af­ter a meet­ing be­tween Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and chief min­is­ter Me­hbooba Mufti .

Talks with sep­a­ratists might help re­store nor­mal­ity in Kash­mir, where 70 peo­ple have been killed in street protests against the gun­ning down of mil­i­tant com­man­der Burhan Wani by se­cu­rity forces last month. The re­gion has been un­der cur­few for a record 50 days.

“The meet­ing with PM was a con­fi­dence boost­ing mea­sure for Me­hbooba…,” a se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial with knowl­edge of the meet­ing said on the con­di­tion of anonymity. This was Mufti’s first meet­ing with Modi since trou­ble started in Kash­mir.

Mufti ex­horted the sep­a­ratists to help her gov­ern­ment end the vi­o­lence. Her party, PDP, later urged sep­a­ratist leader Syed Ali Gee­lani to treat her as his daugh­ter and give her “the op­por­tu­nity she de­serves”.

PDP sources said Mufti sug­gested to Modi a “three-pronged ac­tion plan”, in­clud­ing in­volv­ing sep­a­ratists and Pak­istan in sub­stan­tive talks. She also asked for “an in­sti­tu­tional mech­a­nism of in­ter­locu­tors” to talk to all stake­hold­ers in Kash­mir.

In 2010, a meet­ing be­tween an The cur­few in Sri­na­gar (above) com­pleted 50 days as J&K CM Me­hbooba Mufti (left) met PM Naren­dra Modi on Satur­day. all-party team and sep­a­ratists helped re­store calm af­ter sim­i­lar street protests. The then UPA gov­ern­ment also sent in­ter­locu­tors to Kash­mir but their rec­om­men­da­tions have gath­ered dust.

AFP/PTI PHO­TOS

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