New Delhi: Amid rumblings over Article 35 A, former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha-led Track II team embarked on ‘Peace Mission 3.0’ to meet the mainstream and separatist politicians in an apparent bid to break the logjam on Kashmir. Sinha an dhis delegation called on National Conference President Farooq Abdullah and Working President and former chief minister Omar Abdullah in Srinagar.
Former external affairs minister said their visit is purely a peace mission to meet cross section of society and know about the political situation in Kashmir.”We have nothing to do with the government. We have come here twice earlier on a peace mission. We will meet everyone to know the political situation and see how peace initiative can be taken forward,” he said. Sinha noted that their peace mission includes seeing how bloodshed is stopped and peace is restored in the restive valley. “Peace mission means that bloodshed should end, peace is restored and all people work together for the progress and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
This is third time when Sinha-led team has embarked on Mission Kashmir. Last year at the height of unrest, Sinha led five-member team visited Kashmir and met Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who were spearheading the agitation.
In fact, the Track-II team were able to meet the Hurriyat leaders when they had slammed doors on the All Party Delegation (APD) members when they tried to call on them during the agitation to break the logjam.
The fresh visit comes at a time when Kashmir is bracing up for a showdown over the state subject law under article 35 A. Entire opposition has united on this issue to pressure the government to defend the state subject law which is being heard by the supreme court.
Under Article 35 A, Indian citizens other than the state subjects of Jammu and Kashmir, cannot acquire immovable property or have the voting rights in the restive state. Charu Wali Khanna, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir settled outside the state has challenged the legality of the Article 35 A in the Supreme Court on the grounds that the law disenfranchises and takes away her succession rights.