SRINAGAR: The civil society delegation led by senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, which is interacting with stakeholders in Kashmir to find ways of ending the nearly four-month-long impasse, today called on traders’ body Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) here.
The delegation, which arrived in Kashmir and held meetings with separatist leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Shabir Shah yesterday, met KCCI representatives at its office at Residency Road here.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Sinha said the delegation was in the Valley to understand the pain of the people and to share that pain.
“We said it yesterday as well that this group came here for humanity, to understand the pain of the people here and to associate ourselves with that. In this regard, we are trying to meet all the stakeholders here,” he said.
The former Union Minister said KCCI was an important stakeholder in the Valley and the delegation had good talks with them.
“We feel the KCCI is an old organization and an important stakeholder, so we had requested them for the meeting. They gave us time, placed their viewpoint in front of us and we placed ours. We had good talks and they happened in a good atmosphere,” Sinha said.
He said, “I am in a position to say today that by the response we are getting, we feel that we can share their pain.
After this, we will talk”.
When asked what was next on their agenda, he said, “We are here tomorrow as well….we can go back 2000 years and say that 2000 years back there was pain like this. We will take care of what has happened in the past but we will look forward”. .
After their meeting with the delegation, KCCI president Mushtaq Ahmad Wani said they pitched for a meaningful dialogue with the stakeholders, in an apparent dereference to the separatists.
“We placed the concerns of the people before them. We informed them about the three month long unrest and the killings and expressed our concerns and told them that an unconditional dialogue be started with the real stakeholders.
“We told them that you must prevail upon the Government of India to start an unconditional dialogue with the stakeholders very soon,” Wani said.
He said the KCCI did not talk about economic losses during the meeting.
“They asked about it but we told them that our only concern is the human losses here,” he said.
Declining to reveal what else transpired in the meeting, Wani said, “We cannot share with the press what they told us, but perhaps something good will happen. Dialogue with real stakeholders may start. They perhaps gave such a hint”.
They told the delegation that people were angry as the Centre had trashed the reports of previous such delegations and interlocutors when the situation improved in the Valley.
“Our senior colleagues told them that they took much time to visit Kashmir,” Wani said.
“Last time, no one met the delegation from Delhi as the reports of the delegations and interlocutors, who visited here before, were thrown into dustbins by the Government of India.
“So, people here are angry. (The need) is to have a meaningful dialogue with the stakeholders,” Wani said.–PTI