Appointment of interlocutor a tactic to buy time: Separatist Hurriyat leaders
The separatist leaders rejected any possibility of engaging in parleys with former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma.Updated: Oct 31, 2017, 19:34 IST
The appointment of an interlocutor is nothing more than a tactic to buy time and no dialogue is possible unless the Centre accepts the Kashmir dispute as a political issue, a conglomeration of separatist leaders said on Tuesday.
The comments was the first by separatists directly addressing the appointment of former Intelligence Bureau chief who has been tasked with starting a dialogue to end an insurgency that has killed more than 44,000 people in the the Valley since 1989.
“Unless the Kashmir dispute is understood and addressed in its historical context...lasting peace can neither be achieved in Jammu and Kashmir nor in the subcontinent,” said a statement by the Joint Resistance Leadership, consisting the Hurriyat and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
“While the repressive state militaristic approach continues in dealing with Kashmir, to talk of peace and dialogue is also a ploy by the GOI (government of India) to strike a hard bargain which people of Kashmir and leadership will never succumb to,” the statement by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik added.
The Centre has said Sharma will decide whether to talk to the Hurriyat, several of whose leaders are being probed for possible money laundering to fund public protests. In July, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested seven Hurriyat members on charges of receiving funds from Pakistan-based militant groups to wage attacks on security forces.
The Hurriyat, an umbrella group of political and religious groups fighting mostly for Kashmir’s secession from India, denies the charges.
It termed the appointment of Sharma as “nothing more than a tactic to buy time under international pressure and regional compulsion” and said “no Kashmiri will participate in the exercise of futility”.
Sepaking to HT, Mirwaiz Umar said the government’s adverse reaction to Congress leader P Chidambaram’s call for autonomy to Kashmir signalled the Centre’s rigid stand on Kashmir.
“Chidambaram was talking about something that is within the framework of the Constitution...if the government of India and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him anti-national, how will they talk to us as our agenda is entirely different,” Mirwaiz said.
“We talk about right to self determination,” he added.
The Hurriyat leadership also took objection to Sharma’s comments that his “biggest challenge and the top priority in Kashmir are to deradicalise the youth and militants and prevent it from turning into a Syria of India”.
“To compare the internationally recognised 70-year-old political and humanitarian issue of Kashmir to that of the sectarian war and power struggle in Syria is deception and propaganda as there is no correlation between the two situations,” the statement said.
It said Sharma’s assertion that he will visit the Valley to “restore peace” rather than addressing the dispute “limits the scope” of any engagement.
“His agenda is clear, where does he leave room for any dialogue,” the statement said.
The leaders, however, said that they had always advocated dialogue “in principle” as a means of conflict resolution over Jammu and Kashmir.
“What it inherently entails from all participants to dialogue is the basic acknowledgment that there is a dispute that has to be resolved. But the government of India continuously refuses to accept this basic premise and the reality on the ground,” said the statement.