‘Mainstream’ Pitches For Talks With Hurriyat

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Srinagar: With India’s Apex Court putting onus on Kashmir students to end violence and Union government saying a categoric no to talks with the separatist leadership, there has been unanimous denunciation of BJP led union government’s hardline approach towards Kashmir.

Stating that the talks with separatists were imperative to resolve the Kashmir crisis, almost all pro-India political parties, sans PDP, on Saturday said that Government of India should initiate dialogue with the Hurriyat leadership who they described as key stakeholders of Kashmir conflict.

Some political parties reminded Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti that she should keep her word and resign as she had announced to step down in case the dialogue would not be initiated.

According to National Conference patron Dr Farooq Abdullah, refusal from central government to talk to separatist leaders will have serious ramifications and this policy of New Delhi will prove disastrous in near future. He said such a posture from New Delhi barely two days after Mehbooba Mufti’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi depicts only non-seriousness from Government of India.

“If Mehbooba Mufti would have been the well-wisher of people, she should have abdicated the chair but unfortunately she didn’t utter a word,” Farooq Abdullah said in a statement to Kashmir Observer.

Veteran pro-India politician said, that “National Conference believes that Kashmir is a dispute and for its resolution dialogue is inevitable and separatist leadership is important party.”

He said the sentiments of Kashmiri’s are being suppressed. ‘Due to internet gag people have been suffering. Students are on roads seeking the resolution to Kashmir issue. Government should engage stakeholders in talks as this is the only way to peace and order,” he said.

Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief, G A Mir said that the central government has given their decision over the dialogue and it is upto the state Chief Minister now to decide what to do next. “She had recently announced to resign in case the dialogue will not be held, but after the GoI recorded their statement in Supreme Court, Mehbooba is still clinging to chair,” he said.

He asked Mehbooba Mufti to keep her word by stepping down after the GoI recorded such statement in writing.

JKPCC chief said people were keenly watching the developments and know what is better for them and what not.

Senior CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that holding talks with voices of dissent is the essence of democracy.

“The best option recognized by the civilized world to settle disputes is the process of dialogue as violence only leads to death and destruction. Dialogue is the internationally recognized process to sort out the issues/differences. Even those countries which have been on war path with each other, finally settle the issues only when they sit on negotiations table,” Tarigami said.

Expressing dismay and surprise over the stand taken by Attorney General of India in the apex court, the CPI (M) leader said, “New Delhi’s stand that it will talk only when there is peace is similar to a doctor asking a patient to get well first and then he will treat him. Only answer to end the violence is dialogue. Making excuses and running away from dialogue process should not be the trait of a state. Hearing the voices of dissent and holding dialogue with them is the only option.”

“The necessity of the dialogue arises when issues despite adopting other means remain unresolved. Even family, community, regional and other disputes at the end are resolved though dialogue only. To make it conditional is virtually running away from the intent to resolve the issues. Despite wars and violence in different forms, the issue has remained lingering on since last 70-years and sufferings of people have increased manifold. Death and destruction has virtually taken over and the saner voices have become the causality. How to get rid of this unfortunate situation is a question which needs immediate response from those who are in power,” Tarigami added.

He said that CPI (M) has been consistently advocating initiating of a credible process of dialogue with all stake-holders including those outside the democratic frame. Any delay is fraught with serious consequences.”

Independent MLA and Awami Itihad Party chief, Er. Sheikh Rasheed said that response given by the central government in Supreme Court has “exposed New Delhi’s casual attitude and insincerity in resolving Kashmir issue.”

Rasheed said that “although Supreme Court has no right and domain to force its view on an internationally recognized political issue, but whatsoever attorney general has said in Supreme Court is nothing but distortion and denial of facts.”

He said “Even if centre’s revelation to talk to elected representatives is analyzed on merits, there is every reason to conclude that New Delhi is short of ideas and wants just to consume time.”

“If New Delhi really cares about elected representatives, may attorney general answer why is Er. Rasheed being labelled as Pakistani agent for talking about Kashmir dispute time and again at the floor of the house,” firebrand MLA asked.

Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) president and MLA Khansahib, Hakim Muhammad Yasin said “Dialogue without separatists will be a futile exercise. All the stakeholders must be taken on board to resolve the issue.”

“In case the dialogue will not be initiated with the separatist then the peace in the Valley would be a distant dream,” he added.

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