With the resumption of secretarial level talks between India and Pakistan, the residents of the valley are hopeful that such talks could be helpful in bringing about some positive result in resolving the long pending ‘Kashmir dispute’ between both the nations.
“Kashmiri’s are fed up of daily violence. The sixteen year long turmoil has consumed thousands of innocent lives in the valley; we too want to live a peaceful life, like the people in other parts live.” Said Ghulam Qadir Hajjam a School teacher in Baramulla. Adding he said, “I am hopeful that the dialogue that has started between the two nations from today could bring out something constructive for the resolution of Kashmir issue.”
The people here say that the solution of Kashmir issue could only be reached through dialogue, “Gun and violence in no way can bring about any change in Kashmir, if we have to achieve long term peace for ourselves then we have to rely on dialogue.” Said Bashir Ahmed Sherwani a resident of Old town Baramulla.
The residents of Kashmir say that the dialogue process between the two nations should continue and it must not be made hostage to the hostilities between the two nations. “When the dialogue process between the two countries was suspended following the serial train blasts in Mumbai, it was the people of Kashmir who suffered the most.” Said Abdul Rashid Sofi a bank employee in Srinagar.
Chairman of the Separatist, Democratic Freedom Party Shabir Ahmed Shah, while speaking to Hindustan Times expressed his optimism over the outcome of the secretarial level dialogue between the two nations. “Yes, I am hopeful that there would be some positive outcome from this dialogue as far as the Kashmir issue is concerned” he said. Adding he said, “There has emerged a new ray of hope for the people of Kashmir after the recent Havana conference. Pakistan has shown sincerity on its part and now India has to show how much sincere it is in resolving the Kashmir dispute.”
Disclosing his agenda of meeting with the Pakistani foreign secretary scheduled to be this evening, Shabir Ahmed Shah said, “we will be meeting the foreign secretary of Pakistan with an agenda this evening and our agenda is quite clear that both the countries must constitute a working group comprising of the foreign ministry of both the countries and the people of Kashmir and this working group must monitor the progress of dialogue and the changes taking place at the actual ground level.”
Adding he said, “People of Kashmir will only be happy after the government of India stops committing atrocities and stops all types of human rights violation in the valley.”
Regarding the success of the dialogue process between the two nations Shabir Ahmed Shah said, “No, doubt the dialogue process between the two nations will be a success if it fulfils the aspirations of the people of Kashmir, as Kashmir always occupies the centre stage of any dialogue process between the two nations. It is the right time that some bold decision has to be taken to resolve the issue once for all; also no pre conditions must be set before the dialogue process.”
Terming it a life time opportunity for both the countries and the people of Kashmir, Shabir Ahmed Shah said that both the countries must take maximum benefit out of this opportunity to resolve the ‘Kashmir dispute’. “This opportunity comes once a life time and it should not be made hostage to the Mumbai serial train blasts.” He said.
Meanwhile the residents of the valley are keeping a close watch over the outcome of the dialogue process between the two nations as they say that the ongoing dialogue between the two nations would determine the future of the valley.
“The future of the valley and the future of the residents of the valley depend on how successful the dialogue is, we would pray to almighty Allah for its success.” Said Haji Mohammed Sultan of Dewan bagh Baramulla.