Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream political parties have welcomed Governor N N Vohra’s appeal to separatists to engage in dialogue with the Centre’s interlocutor, Dineshwar Sharma. However, the separatists are not excited by Vohra’s offer.
“The party welcomes the Governor’s offer for engagement as a sincere and concerted follow-up,” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vice-president Sartaj Madni said.
“The Governor’s appeal to separatists is an honest assurance on the intentions of Mehbooba-led government to collectively work for meaningful resolution of issues. The offer needs to be taken as another big trust-building measure that should motivate everyone to participate in the process without harbouring any doubts,” Madni said.
The opposition National Conference has welcomed the offer, but expressed apprehensions that dialogue at a “lower, apolitical level” would not be taken seriously. “There can be no disagreement on the importance of talking, but the initiative should be serious, structured, politically empowered and result-oriented,” National Conference spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu told The Indian Express.
“When the previous prime ministers have directly initiated talks with stakeholders in J&K, any fresh exercise at a lower, apolitical level would obviously not be taken seriously”.
The separatists, on the other hand, are not excited and said that any talks on Kashmir should only be aimed at resolving the dispute. “As far as talks are concerned, we are not averse to any dialogue,” Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told The Indian Express. “But talks should be focused on resolution of the dispute. That (focus) is lacking. We are not seeing that.”
On former intelligence chief Dineshwar Sharma’s appointment as the Centre’s interlocutor for Kashmir, Mirwaiz said that Kashmir is a political problem and should be resolved politically.