First time ever since taking over chief ministership of the state, Omar Abdullah on Sunday offered to act as interlocutor between Hurriyat and New Delhi for a dialogue to resolve the Kashmir problem.
"If the Hurriyat people give us an indication that they are ready for talks and are waiting for an invitation, I will definitely go to Delhi and talk to the Prime Minister and others to convince them and invite the Hurriyat Conference leaders," said the chief minister, in an interview to a Srinagar-based wire service on Sunday.
This is for the first time that Omar has offered to facilitate dialogue between the factions of the Hurriyat and New Delhi.
"They have always rejected invitations. They were asked to meet interlocutors and others but they were not ready... If they can't say it publicly, they have to at least give us an indication that they are ready for talks," he said.
Asking separatists to show seriousness towards dialogue process, Omar said, "It should not be the case that we get them invitation from New Delhi and to become heroes among people here they reject it".
The statement assumes significance because moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq after his Pakistan visit in December, 2012, has repeatedly showed willingness to engage New Delhi for a "meaningful dialogue aimed at resolution of Kashmir issue".
Both factions of the Hurriyats have put forth four-five conditions for dialogue with the Centre, which include demilitarisation and withdrawal of laws like the Armed Forces Special Forces Act. Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has demanded that Kashmir should be declared a dispute first by New Delhi.
He advised the factions of Hurriyats to formally put forth their demands before the Prime Minister. "Where are their five points? As far as I know when they met the Prime Minister last time, he (PM) had asked them to give their demands in writing in the form of a memorandum but that written version never came," he said.
Perhaps, the chief minister said, the Government Of India is also waiting for those demands from the Hurriyat leaders.
On Friday, the Mirwaiz asked New Delhi to revoke AFSPA. "If India withdraws AFSPA, we will think over talks with New Delhi," said the Mirwaiz, while welcoming the Justice J.S Verma's recommendations to review AFSPA.