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Will Sharma- separatists talks Settle Internal & External dimensions of Kashmir issue ?
11/21/2017 10:42:56 PM
If so called experts on Kashmir affairs are given a serious thought the interlocutor, Dineshwar Sharma,has to open the channels of dialogue with the separatists, especially the Hurriyat leaders. Three earlier intgerlocutors or negotiators, K.C.Pant, N.N.Vohra and the three-member committee of central Government representatives, led by Dilip Padgaonkar, failed to resolve the internal and external dimensions of the Kashmir issue because of their inability to hold talks with the Hurriyat leaders.And when Pant and Vohra were sent to Kashmir as negotiators they were not greeted by Hurriyat leaders on the plea that holding talks with bureaucrats or small time politicians may not settle the Kashmir issue.
The fate met by the three-member interlocutors,led by Padgaonkar,was on a similar lines and for the same reasons.In fact Senior Hurriyat leaders wanted talks to open with either the Prime Minister or a team of central ministers.And if not the hardliners the moderates among the separatists had accepted talks when A.B.Vajpayee was the prime Minister and he had deputed his Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, who had several rounds of parleys. At one stage Hurriyat leaders had suggested to New Delhi to involve Pakistan,a vital stakeholder,in the talks for settling the external dimensions.
Several experts on Kashmir affairs have suggested that the special representative for Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, must engage in a dialogue with separatists in the Valley.Last month, the government had appointed the former Intelligence Bureau chief as its special representative for sustained dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.
In his first five-day visit to the state, Sharma met political leaders, student groups, youths and a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits."My plea to the interlocutor will be to reach out to all sections. The point is that he (Sharma) must reach out and I would plead there must be a response (from the Hurriyat leadership)," Wajahat Habibullah, a former IAS officer of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre, said at an event the other day..Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Kapil Kak asked why the government or the interlocutor had not opened communication channels with the separatists yet."There is no communication with the Hurriyat Conference either from the GoI or the interlocutor. The government should be more sincere. I don't see a mandate (for the dialogue process), don't see a timeframe by when there should be a report," Kak said.Both Habibullah and Kak were part of a concerned citizens group led by Former Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha that visited Kashmir last year in the aftermath of the unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen miltnat commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.
They were speaking at an event organised by Congress leader Salman Khurshid's Hind Bhartiyam foundation.
Are talks with the separatists essential for resolving the external and internal dimensions of the Kashmir issue ? As far as the external dimensions of the issue are concerned Pakistan needs to be involved in triangular talks.And this is what Hurriyat leaders have been demanding during the last over 10 years.
As far as the internal dimensions are concerned any truce with the separatists may not restore peace to the Kashmir valley unless Pakistan stops exporting terror to India,especially to Jammu and Kashmir. And the militant outfits,especially Lashkar-i-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and Jash-e-Mohamnmad,are the creation of Pakistan.This way talks with the Hurriyat leaders, even if they are formally invited,may not settle even the I nternal dimensions because the separatists are a divided lot and the one of hardliners led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, holds the way and he may not agree to hold talks with Sharma because the separatists have instructions not to enter into the process of dialogue with Sharma without holding talks with Pakistan.
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