The warmth of the handshake of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Mohammad Yousuf Raza Gilani in Thimpu was felt in Kashmir and it may help in reopening separatist-Centre dialogue, which has been lying in cold storage for almost four years.
Srinagar- Delhi dialogue, which disappeared from the radar after separatists backtracked, saying that Delhi--Islamabad talks were must for the dialogue to take place, may restart with Manmohan Singh--Gilani talks in Thimpu, Bhutan on Thursday.
“It would definitely help us to talk to Delhi, but for that Delhi also needs to initiate measures- withdrawal of troops, revocation of draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act and release of political prisoners ,” All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Hindustan Times over phone.
“Our dialogue with Delhi was also moving when and were talking to each other ( 2004- 2006) and when that got stalled, the climate here too got affected,” the Mirwaiz, who heads the moderate wing of the separatists , said .
All political parties in Kashmir , including National Conference and Peoples Democratic party had been arguing for the dialogue between and . Their argument is that this was a must for finding resolution of Kashmir crisis.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah issued a passionate appeal to both and on Wednesday , urging the Indian and Pakistani leadership to talk to “ get light at the end of the tunnel for the people of Kashmir , who have been experiencing dark times.”
His opponent and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed too expressed the similar sentiments. He felt that and dialogue was a key to the resolution of Kashmir crisis.
It is widely believed that separatists would not enter into dialogue or disclose their benchmarks in the settlement of Kashmir issue, unless they get a clear signal from .
“Since and are two parties to the Kashmir dispute, it is important that they talk. That’s the way forward,” the Mirwaiz said.