As India and Pakistan foreign secretaries are meeting in Islamabad tomorrow, both separatists and mainstream politicians in Kashmir have their ears on the ground to listen to some good news but a deep cynicism prevails across the political spectrum.
“Hurriyat expects nothing from the bureaucratic-level talks. Both India and Pakistan seem to have no consensus on any issue. While India is adamant not to go beyond the Mumbai attack issue, Pakistan intends to have all issues on the table,” moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told the Hindustan Times.
The Mirwaiz suggested that “any reconciliatory initiative has to come from the political establishment, which is prime ministers of the two countries, to shape up a process. “Otherwise, this exercise will be like past customarily one where the two countries will just reiterate their stands at the end and will not move an inch towards resolution of issues,” said the Mirwaiz.
The separatists said ideally the two foreign secretaries could set tone for a serious engagement, which, later on, will pave way for resolution of the Kashmir issue. “I do not, however, see any mood to reconcile at this point of time,” said the Mirwaiz, who supports normalization and improvisation of relation between the countries.
Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani also nurses the same cynicism. “It will be like any other past futile exercise. We will formally react once a joint statement comes out from the two countries,” said Geelani.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who asked New Delhi to raise Kashmir issue during the talks recently, expressed hope of some positive result. “Here's hoping something substantial comes out of this process… I used the word process rather than meeting. I'm just pleased that we continue to talk,” said Abdullah.