Delhi Engaged Us Just To Buy Time: Ex-Interlocutor

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“Afzal Saga Makes Clear Centre Not Keen To Heal Wounds In JK”

SRINAGAR: Lashing out at New Delhi for not being serious on resolving the Kashmir issue, Kashmir interlocutor Prof Radha Kumar on Tuesday said that the “shocking” unwillingness of the government of India to hand over the body of Muhammad Afzal Guru to his family “amply” showed that it was not keen to heal the wounds of the Kashmiri people.

The lone woman member of New Delhi’s hyped group of three interlocutors for Kashmir whose recommendations are gathering dust, Prof Kumar said that she was shocked to learn that the government of India was not willing to return Guru’s body to his family.

“You can’t bury a person in the premises of jail on the pretext of law and order,” Prof Kumar said.

“The government of India did many things which can be termed unusual as far the execution of Afzal Guru is concerned. First of all, it maintained secrecy and didn’t inform his family. Second, it did not return his body to his family. And third, it ignored the people of Kashmir and forced them to remain shut in their houses. This amply shows that the central government is not keen to heal the wounds of Kashmiri people,’’ she said.

“I can say one thing with authority: that India is not serious in resolving the Kashmir issue and is just buying the time,” she said.

“The execution of Afzal was unfortunate but it was the will of the Supreme Court and the central government had no alternative but to follow the decision of the Supreme Court,” she said.

“The hanging of Guru has hurt the Kashmiri people, and the alienation will prove counter-productive in the future,” she said.

“We (interlocutors) worked hard for a year in Kashmir but what was the ultimate result? I am disappointed the way the central government has thrown our recommendations into the dust bin. I had thought that time the country was beset with so many issues and the centre would implement our main recommendations at the earliest but my hopes vanished when I fully realized that the engagement of interlocutors was a time-buying process,” she said.

“The central government was never serious in addressing the problems of Kashmir,” she said. 

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