In a shift of stand, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday favoured triangular talks among India, Pakistan and separatists.
He also offered to be a facilitator if militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen wanted to come to the negotiating table.
Abdullah, however, had a word of caution for moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq. He asked him to take other members on board for talks as “otherwise all they will do is (to) jump on to the hardline bandwagon and threaten the process”.
“...You are not going to get a situation where New Delhi, Islamabad and the Hurriyat are going to be sitting at the same table — it is not going to happen. Therefore, if you can work a system wherein you engage with Islamabad and you engage with New Delhi, both at the same time, I see no harm in it.
“We’ve done it from the mainstream point of view. I have had engagement with the government of Pakistan as well as the government of India, and I don't think anything harmful has come out of that,” Abdullah said during the Devil’s Advocate programme of CNN-IBN.
He said his government would not only like to play the “role of facilitator” for the Hurriyat alone but also for militant groups like Hizbul “as long as they give up the wrong side, the path of violence”.