Srinagar: Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh`s visit to Kashmir, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali
Shah Geelani on Saturday demanded release of political prisoners and
withdrawal of troops from the valley.
India should also accept Kashmir problem as a dispute,
the chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference
said in a statement here.
For resolution of the lingering problem, "India needs
to accept Kashmir as a dispute, release all 1500 political
prisoners, including Hurriyat leaders, and withdraw troops,"
Political leaders continue to "languish" in jails even
as authorities here are portraying Prime Minister`s upcoming
visit as part of political process, the Hurriyat hawk said.
Geelani, who had given a call for shutdown during the
visit, asked the concerned parties to act in accordance with
ground realities in Kashmir.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to undertake a two-day
visit to Kashmir valley, beginning June seven.
On May 24, he told a press conference in Delhi that he
is ready to hold talks with all groups outside the political
mainstream in Jammu and Kashmir provided they shun violence.