From the common man on the streets to separatists, the outcome of foreign minister-level talks between India and Pakistan on July 15 is being viewed with a sense of disappoint and dissatisfaction in Kashmir. This has further added to the sense of dejection and despair people live with in the state.
Many people in Srinagar are of opinion that the much-hyped resumption of talks between the two countries after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks “failed to reflect any hope or sincerity on part of the two countries to resolve the Kashmir problem”.
“Kashmir is reeling under relentless unrest and unabated public anger since first week of June. Any positive outcome, laying foundation for resolution, would have assuaged public anger. Hope and sincerity seems missing from both the parties. The talks were nothing but wastage of time and a big disappointment,” said Rafiq Ahmad, a Sri Pratap College student, who attended his college today after more than a month of unrest.
The way the talks ended between the countries enraged pro-dialogue moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who blames India for “having negative attitude”.
“It’s unfortunate that we are still caught in jugglery of words and political jargons. There does not seems any sincerity on resolving the issue…there are other issues which are also important but we have maintained that an India, Pakistan dialogue can only be in the right direction if we see some changes on the ground (in Kashmir),” said the Mirwaiz, who continues to be under house arrest at his Nageen residence for more than a week.
With anger raging in Srinagar streets, Mirwaiz has hardened his stand on the Kashmir issue. “Unless India with an open agenda, sincerity and seriousness approaches the true leadership of Kashmir and Pakistan, the dialogue process won’t yield anything,” he said.
The Mirwaiz called for a “structured mechanism”. “We need to address issues politically, amicably and peacefully; otherwise we are back to square one. And unless the core issue of Kashmir is resolved the dialogue will not yield anything between the two countries,” said the Mirwaiz.
Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone almost echoed the disappointment felt by the Mirwaiz. “It was disappointing. People here had expectations that Kashmir would be given central role in the dialogue process and expected forward movement. Had a statement been issued by the two countries over the Kashmir issue, it would a set a positive tone in the valley,” said Lone, son of slain separatist leader Abdul Ghani Lone. Lone contested the 2008 Assembly elections unsuccessfully.
Lone sees a new trend emerging in Kashmir. “The new angry generation here is working independently and is equidistant from India and Pakistan. Kashmir is heading towards an independent movement…So any back channel discussion between the countries is bound to fail if Kashmir is not discussed,” warned Lone.
Even well-know political analyst and writer Reyaz Masroor second the thought that new generation had pinned no hope on the talks held in Islamabad.
“Kashmiris are virtually on the roads against the broken promises of New Delhi. From ‘Workings Groups’ to ‘quite dialogue’ to ‘zero tolerance to human rights violations’, all promises made by New Delhi have fallen flat. I don’t think there was iota of hope from the talks. Only think that emerged from Pakistan this time was hardening of the stand on Kashmir and departure from (Pervez) Musharraf (former Pakistan president) era, where many separatists felt weak here,” said Masroor.