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India’s move for talks on Kashmir issue lacks sincerity, says Pakistan

Pakistan’s Foreign Office said only a dialogue process that involves New Delhi, Islamabad and the Kashmiri people would be meaningful and result-oriented.

world Updated: Oct 24, 2017 19:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India-Pakistan relations,Kashmir issue,Dineshwar Sharma
Former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma called on home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on October 23, 2017 after being appointed the government‘s interlocutor for dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir. (PTI)

Pakistan on Wednesday described former intelligence chief Dineshwar Sharma’s appointment as the Indian government’s interlocutor for the Kashmir issue as a move lacking in sincerity and said only a dialogue involving New Delhi, Islamabad and the Kashmiris would be result-oriented.

India said on Tuesday that Sharma, 63, who retired as head of the Intelligence Bureau in December, will speak to “all stakeholders” to end the nearly three-decade-long, bloody insurgency in Kashmir.

The talks offer stems from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outreach to troubled Kashmir in his Independence Day speech. Modi had said the region’s problems could be solved by embracing its people rather than resorting to abuse or bullets.

Responding to Sharma’s appointment, the spokesperson of Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that “the measure did not appear to be sincere and realistic”.

The spokesperson added that “for any dialogue process to be meaningful and result-oriented, it has to include the three main parties – India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiris”.

“In that context, without the participation of the Hurriyat leadership, no interaction or dialogue would carry any weight or meaning,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Pakistan also said that the Indian government’s announcement “illustrated a recognition – once again – of the futility of the use of force and of the indispensability of dialogue”.

The statement noted that India’s interlocutor had been entrusted with the task of understanding the “legitimate aspirations” of the Kashmiris though this “had been known for 70 years, ie realisation of their right to self-determination”.

The spokesperson contended that the need of the hour is an end to “Indian state-sponsored terrorism” in Kashmir and dialogue for peacefully resolving the issue in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

“This was imperative for ensuring durable and sustainable peace and stability in South Asia. Pakistan hoped that the international community would play its rightful role in facilitating such an outcome,” the spokesperson said.

India has consistently rejected Pakistan’s calls for third party mediation in the Kashmir issue, saying it should be resolved bilaterally in line with the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration. India also accuses Pakistan of fomenting unrest and backing terror groups in Kashmir, a charge denied by Islamabad.

First Published: Oct 24, 2017 19:41 IST