Pakistan has instructed the separatist All Party Hurriyat Conference not to hold dialogue with India on the Kashmir dispute, till India resumes bilateral talks with Pakistan.
With the Hurriyat agreeing, Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s initiative of ‘quiet diplomacy’ with all sections of Kashmiris, including the separatists, is effectively over.
Pakistan National Assembly Speaker Fahmida Mirza and its high commissioner to India Shahid Malik told leaders of the moderat Hurriyat, led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, that they should avoid talks with the Indian government, unless the latter starts talking to Pakistan, sources close to the development said.
“They were told any dialogue on Kashmir must keep Pakistan in the picture,” the source said.
When Chidambaram first announced his initiative in October last year, the Hurriyat had welcomed it. But on Sunday, the Mirwaiz told HT over telephone from Srinagar: “All three parties have to be on board while discussing Kashmir. Bilateral dialogue cannot yield any positive result, be it between Srinagar and Delhi, or Islamabad and Delhi.”
Earlier too, in 2000, when India had sought to bring the militant Hizbul Mujahideen in Kashmir to the negotiating table, Pakistan had wrecked the effort.