Did not take Hurriyat leader’s refusal to meet as insult: Yechury

New Delhi: Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury said on Wednesday that he did not take Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s refusal to meet him and others as an insult.

“I did not take it as an insult. We set out to meet five people (separatists) and could meet four. One person refused to meet but that was not totally unexpected,” Yechury said here after the all-party meeting to review the situation.

“But I still insisted to go and meet him because we wanted to tell the people of Kashmir that we are willing to talk to them (separatists) and with all stakeholders. I think that message has been successfully conveyed,” Yechury said.

Yechury, and a few other members of the all-party delegation that visited Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday and Monday, had taken an initiative to meet separatist leaders.

However, Geelani refused to meet them and they were turned away from his door.

Briefing about the discussions in the meeting, the CPI-M leader said dialogue should be initiated with all stakeholders to look for a long term solution.

“We suggested a few things to restore people’s confidence and trust. The allegations of human rights violations should be investigated and action taken on them. Also, AFSPA should be lifted from civilian areas.

“Besides, we discussed a lot of other things and the government did not say ‘no’ to any proposal. I think we should look for a permanent solution,” he said.