'Solution to Kashmir issue lies in tripartite talks': Geelani


"Talks have been held over 130 times between Kashmiris and New Delhi since March 23, 1952, but failed to achieve desired results. Instead of repeating the exercise, the Centre should look into the reasons as why these talks failed," Syed Ali Shah Geelani said here.

Commenting on the statement P Chidambaram that Centre is ready for talks with all shades of political opinion in the state, the hardline separatist leader said "there is nothing new in the offer of talks."

"The statement of Chidambaram is meaningless unless India publicly admits the disputed nature of Kashmir and agrees on the tripartite talks aimed at giving right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir," 80-year-old Geelani, who is under house arrest at his Hyderpora residence said.

Geelani, who was briefly released from house arrest on Tuesday to allow him to undergo medical check up in Delhi, said that there is a need for complete withdrawal of troops, revoking of black laws and release of political prisoners to create a conducive atmosphere for talks.

"While on the one hand, India is expressing its willingness to engage all shades of political opinion, on the other it continues to claim Kashmir as its integral part. In such a situation, how could the talks prove fruitful?" Geelani asked.

However, he said that the talks should include all the three parties - India, Pakistan and Kashmiris and aimed at finalising modalities to implement United Nations resolutions guaranteeing right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

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