For the fist time in two decades, the Kashmiri separatist conglomerate All Parties Hurriyat Conference has expressed its willingness to take Jammu on board in seeking a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue.
"We are keen to get Jammu (people) on board," APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told HT over phone. "We will be visiting Jammu in December to talk to a cross section of the people there.”
The Hurriyat Conference is looking forward to the start of dialogue process with the Centre in the next few weeks’ time, most likely in November-December.
Jammu, the Hindu dominated and fiercely pro-India region, full of diversity in geographical, religious and ethnic terms, with Hindus, Muslims, Gujjars, Paharis, Sikhs, Christians and also home to more than 350,000 Kashmiri Hindu migrants for the past 20 years, has always complained of neglect in the political decision making process.
Saying that Jammu’s views were very important, Mirwaiz said the Hurriyat Conference looks at the things in a holistic manner.
Hurriyat Conference is clear that the basic issue is with Kashmir and that too with separatists, who do not accept the supremacy of the Indian Constitution.
But the Hurriyat Conference is sending signals that at some stage, sooner than later, the other views too would be accommodated and respected.
In the post-1947 era, after the fall of the Dogra rule, the Jammu region has been seeking to be an equal partner in the political set up in the successive governments. It has contributed to curb militancy in the Valley, with most of the policemen fighting militants coming from this region.
Jammu is watching with interest the time line of the forthcoming dialogue between the Centre and the Hurriyat Conference.