Expecting invitation for a dialogue process to resolve the Kashmir problem, both moderate and hardline separatists on Wednesday expressed disappointment over the Prime Minister’s speech at Anantnag.
A separatist leader from the moderate Hurriyat Conference, led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, described the speech as “reiteration of stated and traditional position on Kashmir.”
“The Indian Prime Miniater has not come out with anything concrete this time. We expected global pressure to play it role. There is an opinion in international fora that the Kashmir dispute need to be resolved once for all,” said Nayeem Ahmad Khan, chairman of the National Front, a constituent of the moderate Hurriyat.
Khan said Home Minister P Chidambaram’s recent speech was more positive and forthcoming than the Prime Minister’s.
But, Khan has pinned hope on the PM’s visit. “The Prime Minister is here only. We are monitoring it. Maybe tomorrow he has something to say. The visit is not over yet,” said Khan, while stressing that all parties have to move from its traditional stand on the Kashmir to resolve it.
It seems the separatist leaders are expecting something from the PM’s Thursday’s press conference.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yaeen Malik too preferred not to react to PM’s speech. “We have not formed any opinion yet. Once we have one we will go public about it,” Yaseen told the Hindustan Times.
Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, who heads the Muslim Conference, said the speech was not up to his expectation. “There was no coherent policy on the Kashmir issue in PM’s speech,” said Bhat.
Harline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani described the PM’s speech as “vindication of his stand.”
“I have been saying he (the PM) has nothing to offer. He vindicated my stand. Had he been serious about it, he would have accepted Kashmir as a dispute. I wonder what talks they talk about?” said Geelani, who has laid pre-conditions before entering into a dialogue with New Delhi. He has been vehemently opposing bilateral talks on the Kashmir and insists “inclusion of Pakistan as a party to the dispute”.