Srinagar: A day after UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi expressed satisfaction over "remarkable progress" made in Jammu and Kashmir, hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference alleged here that she was "deliberately playing down the situation to conceal the realities".
Chairman of the outfit, Syed Ali Shah Geelani today expressed "surprise" over the statement.
"The statement of Gandhi (Sonia) is nothing but a crude joke with the people of Kashmir... The drama is enacted with an eye on the next year`s General Elections," Geelani said in a statement here.
Gandhi has expressed satisfaction over "remarkable progress" made in the state but emphasised the need to "take note of the cry of pain and anguish" emanating from some sections of the society.
Geelani demanded return of the mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat.
"If Congress president is sincere in resolving Kashmir issue then she should accept the demand of Kashmiris on priority and return the mortal remains of JKLF founder Maqbool Bhat and Guru to their families," he said.
The Hurriyat leader said since the Congress president herself is a woman she can well understand the pain of a woman who was even not allowed to meet her husband prior to his execution.
The Hurriyat leader also criticised the Congress for continuation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and said even interlocutors appointed by it have recommended for the revocation of the law from the state.