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J&K Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma Meets Hurriyat Leader Abdul Ghani Bhat

The meeting assumes significance as other top Hurriyat leaders - Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik - have turned down the government’s invitation for dialogue.

Arunima | CNN-News18Arunima24

Updated:December 5, 2017, 4:24 PM IST
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J&K Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma Meets Hurriyat Leader Abdul Ghani Bhat
File photo of Dineshwar Sharma.
New Delhi: The Centre’s special envoy on Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, met Hurriyat’s Abdul Ghani Bhat during his visit to the Valley in the last week of November.

Sources in the state government confirmed to CNN-News18 that the meeting took place in Srinagar on November 27. Another Hurriyat leader was also present during the meet, which lasted for over half an hour, they said

When contacted, Sharma refused to disclose what was discussed. “Some things should not be made public in national interest,” he said.

Bhat refused to confirm or deny the meeting, but sources close to him said the Hurriyat leadership is not opposed to talks, but the framework in which the talks should be held. Bhatt said his party, the Muslim conference, was principally in favour of dialogue and is open to holding talks on Kashmir with anyone, including Sharma.

The meeting assumes significance as other top Hurriyat leaders - Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik - have turned down the government’s invitation for dialogue and have questioned the sincerity of the Narendra Modi government’s efforts.

Sharma, who was in the Valley from November 26 to 29, had visited militancy-hit districts in south Kashmir.

“The second visit of Dineshwar Sharma focused on meeting youth and students but we have offered a window to some separatist leaders,” a government official said. Earlier, Sharma, too, had said he was open to meeting anyone who is willing to hold a dialogue on the Kashmir issue.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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