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Eminent journalist refuses to be part of delegation of Muslims due to visit Kashmir
Friday August 26, 2016 6:50 PM, News Network

Srinagar Jama Masjid

New Delhi:
Accusing that the government is not ready for any confidence-building and has no agenda to solve the Kashmir problem, senior journalist and Editor of fortnightly magazine The Milli Gazette Dr Zafarul Islam Khan on Friday refused to be part of the delegtion of "eminent Indian Muslims" due to visit Jammu & Kashmir later in the next week.

In a letter dahed to Dr M.J. Khan, coordinator of the group visiting Kashmir, Zafarul Islam Khan cited various reasons for his inability to be part of the delegation.

"A delegation of some Muslim personalities to go to the Valley is being planned. I will not be part of it for two reasons: There are no indications that the government is serious about tackling the issue, and I cannot accept the government largesse and facilities to do such a work", Dr Zafarul Islam Khan said in his letter.

“It was clear during our interaction with the Home Minister that he is not ready for any confidence-building measures as of now: No readiness to bring the injured youth right away from the Valley, no readiness to immediately stop pellet guns, no readiness to announce compensations right away", Dr Zafarul Islam Khan who met with other Muslims Home Minister Rajnath Singh on August 21 said.

"No talk of lifting Armed Forces Special Act (AFPSA) from unaffected areas like north Kashmir and moving the army away from inhabited areas. Instead, more troops are being airlifted to the Valley. No readiness to talk to Hurriyat or Pakistan for a final solution of this festering wound", he added.

"Hence", he said, "Personally I do not see any usefulness of visiting Kashmir."

"In any case, it should be an independent initiative, not one sponsored and paid for by the home ministry. By accepting such help, we lose credibility", he added.

"Personally, I have overnight lost my credibility in the Valley which was built over three decades. Despite this, I am ready to lead an independent initiative if there are people ready to listen and work for a final solution on lines of or close to the failed Agra agreement.

"A Nobel prize is waiting for Modi if he can rise to the occasion. If not, such eruptions will keep happening every few years sapping our energies and defaming us in the eyes of the world", he said.

As on today, most of the Kashmir Valley continues under curfew for the 48th day, breaking all previous records. Seven consecutive Friday prayers have not been offered in Srinagar’s historical Jama Masjid, 66 persons, including two cops, have been killed and hundreds have lost their eyesights due to use of pellet guns and thousands have been arrested. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has paid his second visit to Kashmir within a month while Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions with Jammu & Kashmir opposition leaders.

Observing that both sides are adamant, Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan further said that the government is showing no sign of any relaxation or offering even most common humanitarian gestures, separatist groups continue with their strikes and shutdowns encouraging youth to pelt soldiers as well as common people with stones if they venture outside. While it was indicated during PM Modi’s meeting that the government will not talk to Hurriyat groups, Rajnath Singh during his second visit kept the option open.

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