Top Kashmiri separatist leaders on Saturday refused to talk to national opposition leaders who were part of an all-party delegation that arrived here on a mission to restore peace in the restive valley that is battling nearly two months of the deadliest unrest in years.
Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav and Communist leaders Sitaram Yechury and D. Raja went to meet Geelani at his upscale Hyderpora residence.
But the hardline Hurriyat chairman refused to even let them in and the three MPs left after waiting at his door for about ten minutes.
Outside the house, several of Geelani’s supporters massed around and angrily shouted slogans as the MPs’ cars and security vehicles went past. They chanted “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom”.
A disappointed Yechury later told the media that they “had come to hold talks and listen to his (Geelani’s) viewpoint”.
“We can move forward (to solve the Kashmir problems) only through talks. But he didn’t open the door,” Yechury said.
After their failed bid at Haiderpora, the three leaders returned to the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre where they had earlier attended a meeting of all parties with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
In 2010, when the valley was witnessing a similar unrest, the CPI-M general secretary had succeeded in convincing Geelani to mold his protest calendar and help restore normalcy in Kashmir.