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CM Mehbooba Mufti, Jammu and Kashmir parties hail talk offer, separatists silent

Mehbooba Mufti, who has always been advocating talks with separatists and Pakistan, welcomed the Centre’s initiative and said stakeholders should consider this as an opportunity and start a dialogue as it is the need of the time.

Written by Mir Ehsan | Srinagar | Updated: October 24, 2017 10:35 am
dineshwar sharma, rajnath singh, kashmir dialogue, omar abdullah, kashmir issue, j&k dialogue, kashmir unrest, farooq abdullah, mehbooba mufti, crisis, kashmir issue, dineshwar sharma, rajnath singh press conference, ex-ib director as govt representative, india, pakistan, india pakistan kashmir, hurriyat, militants, kashmir terrorists, india news, indian express Mehbooba Mufti said as far as she knew, the interlocutor — former IB chief Dineshwar Sharma — is “a good man with huge credibility”. (File photo)

J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and leaders of mainstream political parties Monday welcomed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s announcement on the initiation of a dialogue process in the state but the separatists remained silent, offering no immediate reaction. At least ten separatist leaders have been arrested by central agencies for their alleged involvement in suspicious transactions. Mehbooba Mufti, who has always been advocating talks with separatists and Pakistan, welcomed the Centre’s initiative and said stakeholders should consider this as an opportunity and start a dialogue as it is the need of the time.

“This dialogue initiative is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 15th August speech — ‘na goli se, na gaali se, Kashmir ki samasya suljhegi gale lagaane se,’’ she said, adding that this initiative was to win “the hearts of people of J&K” and a policy towards “the healing touch”. She said security measures in J&K have been taken and are on currently. But the start of a political dialogue, she said, is very important. “It has already happened in the past and now it is happening again. In the past, the dialogue rendered good results.’’

Mehbooba Mufti said as far as she knew, the interlocutor — former IB chief Dineshwar Sharma — is “a good man with huge credibility”. “He has taken part in many dialogues in the past in the North East and done some good work,’’ she said, adding she was hopeful that the stakeholders will take part and benefit from this offer so that J&K is taken out from daily violence and bloodshed. “It should be the concern of all stakeholders including us: how to take people of J&K out of this disturbance… It is a Confidence Building Measure and necessity of the time.”

Asked whether the NIA raids had something to do with this offer, the Chief Minister said the political process and security measures were two separate issues. “People are caught between so many guns right now and they want to come out of it now. It is a good initiative and should be a success. It has given me hope.’’ Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said his party will keep an open mind on the process. ‘’Centre announces an interlocutor to engage with stake holders in J&K. Will keep an open mind & wait to see results of the dialogue process,’’ he tweeted.

‘’The acceptance of the political nature of the #Kashmir issue is a resounding defeat of those who could only see use of force as a solution… More important than the person is the mandate & absence of pre-conditions,” he said. The separatist leadership maintained complete silence. Sources said it was likely that the separatists may come out with a joint statement Tuesday after a meeting of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is a regular on Twitter, did not post any reaction to the Centre’s offer of talks. PDP Youth president Waheed ur Rehman Parra told The Indian Express that his party had been waiting for this moment since they took over the reins of power. “It is a very positive step. There is a need to institutionalise the dialogue process on Kashmir — a sustained and meaningful one — while making sure everyone is taken on board.’’ He said he hoped that the separatists would also welcome this initiative.

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee president Ghulam Ahmad Mir said the Congress was always for dialogue. “It was the Centre that had refused to hold talks. Now that they have appointed an interlocutor, they should first decode who are the stakeholders with whom they are going to talk.’

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  1. R
    Oct 24, 2017 at 12:04 am
    Separatists will remain silent. After so many offers they will agree to parti te with some pre-conditions. Before they come to talk they goto Pakistan and reject any reasonable agreements. First thing to resolve the Kashmir Problem is - Anybody who praises or wants to talk with Pakistan should be arrested. Border with Pak should be strengthened and all infiltrators should be killed. With rest of the Kashmiri public - we should hold talks showing how India progressed and hos Kashmir can contribute to growth and enjoy the democratic freedom like every other indian.
    1. S
      Oct 24, 2017 at 12:44 am
      you have 700,000 army in Kashmir out 1.3 milliosns, bring the rest of 600,000, you still fiail
    2. M
      Oct 23, 2017 at 11:07 pm
      Well back to square one by this inept clueless governance...So many of our armed forces men lost their life due to the inept spineless clueless policy by this feku governance...Sorry state of affairs...
      1. L
        Oct 23, 2017 at 10:41 pm
        It is better to make entire Kashmir Valley as Union Territory. Without KPS no Kashmir.
        1. S
          S Kumar
          Oct 23, 2017 at 10:21 pm
          At last the govt has realized muscular policy has failed. After hundreds of soldiers' sacrifice due to the arrogance and autocratic style of working, the dialogue process is being initiated. But the Govt preferred an IPS/IB man as the interlocutor over a seasoned politician or an activist or even a reputed forthright journalist who would do a better job. The most important factor for any interlocutor to access the hard core separatists and other near radicalized youth leaders and discuss with them the real core issues to decide even the terms of ref for further dialogue requires a seasoned individual who can be acceptable to the opposite side as well, from above categories. Perhaps our top leadership at the centre does not trust their own seasoned leaders. The PM and the PMO seems to know every thing and can decide every matter.....It is said well begun is half done. In this case the beginning itself is flawed. Lets hope some thing positive comes out to bring peace to the valley.
          1. N
            Oct 23, 2017 at 11:31 pm
            More Pakistani terrorists and ISIS will come to the valley and make in roads into Jammu. This is what will happen in the peace process u suggest. You want J K a full time head ache and subservient to Kashmir and Pak politicians. You wish to make Kashmir a grave yard and construct monument like Redfort to hoist Pakistan flag or what!!!
            1. D
              Oct 24, 2017 at 6:43 am
              Your coment seems you have pre conceived notion that Govt came back to square one, but dear have you ever heard of "carrot and stick".
            2. S
              Oct 23, 2017 at 10:13 pm
              she is b/s artist . kasmiri will not accept anything less than UN resolution she is endian agent 24TH UN RESOLUTION RESOLUTION (1951) CONCERNING THE INDIA-PAKISTAN QUESTION SUBMITTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVES OF UNITED KINGDOM AND UNITED STATES AND ADOPTED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON MARCH 30, 1951. (DOCUMENT NO. S/2017/REV. I, DATED THE 30TH MARCH, 1951) Observing that the Governments of India and Pakistan have accepted the provisions of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan resolutions of 13 August, 1948, and 5 January, 1949, and have re-affirmed their desire that the future of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations, RESOLUTION 98 (1952) ADOPTED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL AT ITS 611TH MEETING ON 23 DECEMBER, 1952. (DOCUMENT NO. S/2883, DATED THE DECEMBER, 1952).
              1. H
                Oct 24, 2017 at 12:13 am
                I think you forgot to add part II of this resolution which says: Part II – Truce Agreement Simultaneously with the acceptance of the proposal for the immediate cessation of hostilities as outlined in Part I, both Governments accept the following principles as a basis for the formulation of a truce agreement, the details of which shall he worked out in discussion between their Representatives and the Commission. A1. As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir cons utes a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council, the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State. First get your facts correct then talk!!!
                1. S
                  Oct 24, 2017 at 12:52 am
                  that the resolution you promised and signed spit and lick, you can but world is not letting you do it
                2. G
                  Oct 24, 2017 at 2:33 am
                  So Pakistan has agreed by it and will be taking the first step to evacuate AK And Gilgit Baltistan? Have you read the UN resolution passed? Pak won’t evacuate so how can the plebiscite take place?
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