Hurriyat’s Geelani ready for Kashmir talks

In a departure from his previous stand, hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani has said he is willing to hold talks with the Centre on Kashmir issue.

Zeenews Bureau

Srinagar: In a departure from his previous stand, hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani has said he is willing to hold talks with the Centre on Kashmir issue.

Just days after the J&K interlocutors submitted their report to the Home Ministry, Geelani said he would be willing if the government in Delhi makes an offer.

"Geelani sahib has decided that in case he is approached, he will discuss it with the members of the Hurriyat executive council and decide accordingly," spokesperson Ayaz Akbar reportedly said.

It may be noted that Geelani had earlier refused to even meet the three-member panel of interlocutors on Kashmir and criticised their report.

While the content of interlocutors’ report is still under wraps, it is being speculated that the three-member panel has pitched for talks with separatists.

In the past, Geelani has always been averse to direct talks with the Centre and has sought the labelling of the Kashmir issue as a “dispute” before any talks could be held.

Meanwhile, the Centre has indicated that it may respond positively if the separatists in Jammu and Kashmir "sincerely" wish to hold dialogue.

Officials said the Central government has not received any communication from the separatists, including the hardline Hurriyat faction led by Geelani, for any dialogue so far.

"We have seen the statement of Hurriyat in the media and taken note of it. We have not received any communication yet. Government`s stand is clear. We are always ready to hold talks - both formal and informal. Let`s see how things evolve," an official said.

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