Am upset we shut doors on MPs:Bhat : The Tribune India

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Am upset we shut doors on MPs:Bhat

SRINAGAR: Abdul Gani Bhat, former chief of the separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference, on Wednesday said he was upset over shutting doors on members of the parliamentary delegation that had visited the state this week.

Am upset we shut doors on MPs:Bhat

"Now that it (shutting doors) has happened, we should not allow ourselves to be caught in darkness. We must come out of it and move towards light…. The separatists, India and Pakistan will have to rise above yesterday, hostility and subcontinental irony to find a solution to the Kashmir issue"— Abdul Gani Bhat, moderate hurriyat leader



Azhar Qadri

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, September 7

Abdul Gani Bhat, former chief of the separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference, on Wednesday said he was upset over shutting doors on members of the parliamentary delegation that had visited the state this week.

Bhat, who is an executive member of a faction of the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said separatists should have been “graceful” in receiving the members of the parliamentary panel who had visited their residences.

The all-party delegation had visited the Kashmir valley on Sunday and attempted to reach out to several separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik and Bhat. However, while few met them, Geelani refused to open the door to the three parliamentarians who had visited his residence.

“We should have been graceful, no two opinions about it,” he told The Tribune. “I am sad about it (shutting doors), I am upset about it. It shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

Bhat, who is a moderate in the separatist camp and an advocate of dialogue, said the separatists should not allow themselves to be “caught in darkness”.

“Now that it has happened, we should not allow ourselves to be caught in darkness. We must come out of it and move towards light. Mornings are much better than dark evenings,” he said, suggesting a more moderate approach should be taken.

Bhat said few parliamentarians from the delegation had visited him at his office and he received them “respectfully and they left gracefully”. “We exchanged little pleasantries amongst ourselves and, more importantly, discussed nothing,” he said.

Bhat said the separatists, India and Pakistan would have to “rise above yesterday, hostility and subcontinental irony” to find a solution to the K-issue. “This talking about ‘within the ambit of Constitution’ is an expression without any reference to anything… we will have to behave as mature, seasoned politicians to contribute towards peace and prosperity of the entire region,” he said.

In reply to a question to New Delhi’s hardening stand against separatists, Bhat said there was a need to be “imaginative, pragmatic, realistic and open”. “We will reach nowhere” if “hardened attitudes” are assumed, he added. “Given the political environment and economic developments around, we cannot afford to assume a harder attitude. We have to be flexible and introduce an element of flexibility in our talks,” he said.

Bhat said if flexibility was introduced, “we will be able to work out a solution for the disputed Jammu and Kashmir which will not only be honourable but also acceptable to parties as well”.

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