India MPs Meet Kashmir Separatist Leaders

The three main separatist leaders in Indian-administered Kashmir have met members of an all-party delegation of Indian politicians from Delhi. The separatists had earlier refused to meet the delegation, which is visiting after months of violent protests that have claimed more than 100 lives. Moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was told there was no chance of Kashmiri secession from India.But he was told that all other issues could be discussed.Different groups of MPs from the delegation met Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik at their residences. The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Indian-administered Kashmir's main city of Srinagar says the Indian government is trying to build a consensus among the country's major parties on how to deal with the situation. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the leader of the moderate faction of the separatist alliance the Hurriyat Conference (HC), was told by the MPs who visited him that while the idea of Kashmiri succession from India would not be entertained, all other options were on the table. Mr Farooq, who is under house arrest, told India's NDTV that a private call from the five MPs was not the same as talks with the government.Before the meeting, he told the BBC the delegation's visit to Kashmir was of limited value. "The Kashmir issue is not about sending delegations from Delhi with no mandate, it's very clear that they have come to Kashmir to assess the situation." He added: "I mean what is there to assess? A hundred people have been killed in the last three months, young children, from 80-year-old to 60-year-old people have been shot dead." Another group of MPs from the Indian delegation had earlier visited Syed Ali Shah Geelani at his residence, where he too is under house arrest.