SRINAGAR – All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday rejected Ali Shah Geelani’s statement that Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party, had sent two Kashmiri pandits who sought help to work out a solution to the Kashmir issue.
“We never spoke to emissaries sent by Modi to discuss Kashmir issue. Geelani wants to prove himself right and everyone else wrong,” he said. Asking Geelani to desist from making such irresponsible and baseless statements, Mirwaiz accused Geelani of creating dangerous atmosphere against the Hurriyat leaders. “Who does he want to get killed this time?” he asked.
“Geelani wants to be seen as the sole conscious keeper. For the past 100 years, my family is part of the struggle. We have all made sacrifices,” he said. “He (Geelani) is misleading people of Kashmir. We didn’t talk to anyone. Whenever we talked we did it in public view,” Mirwaiz said.
In New Delhi, the BJP issued a statement refuting sending any emissary to Geelani. “No one from the party approached any Kashmiri ‘separatist’ leader. We have not been authorised to meet any of them,” said Ramesh Arora, in-charge of BJP’s Kashmir affairs. Another BJP leader Nitin Gadkari maintained that no Modi emissary either tried to meet or met Geelani to discuss the Kashmir issue.
“Geelani's statements are nothing but a ‘bunch of lies’ with ‘malicious’ intent. The BJP's stand is very clear that Kashmir is an ‘integral part of India’ and there cannot be any room for deliberations on this.” He said that they would work towards development in Kashmir if they came to power.
The Congress demanded a clarification from Modi. “Geelani hasn't given any explanation, someone was sent to Geelani but he refused looking at Modi’s past and what he has done in the past we cannot hold talks with him. It’s Modi who is answerable,” said Meem Afzal, a spokesperson for the Congress.