Geelani favours dialogue on Kashmir – on his terms


Srinagar : Syed Ali Geelani, hardline Kashmiri separatist leader and chairman of the breakaway Hurriyat group, Thursday favoured dialogue on Kashmir, but added that both India and Pakistan should first accept Kashmir’s disputed status.

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“India must start the process of demilitarisation in Kashmir to create the right atmosphere for the dialogue to begin,” Geelani told reporters a day after authorities released him from detention Wednesday.

He also expressed lack of faith in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the rape and murder of two young women in Shopian. “The CBI has no jurisdiction to investigate crimes in Kashmir,” he said.

“In this regard, I support the local Bar Association, which has already rejected the CBI probe into the rape and murder of two innocent women in Shopian.”

He said the armed forces were “occupying lands in Kashmir”.

“We are collecting data on the occupation of land at various places by the Indian Army. After the forthcoming Eid, we shall announce our programme on this.”

He demanded the release of other separatist leaders detained in various jails in the state.

Commenting on the recent selections made by various authorities to government services, Geelani said the dice was heavily loaded against Kashmiri people in these selections.

“Vast majority of those selected belong to the Jammu region and this depicts the clear bias against Kashmiris,” he said.