Dialogue On

Published at November 06, 2017 12:28 AM 0Comment(s)5340views

Dialogue On

Despite the dialogue getting, apparently, derailed Government of India’s Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma seems optimistic about his 4-day visit that begins today. Sharma has invited mainstream political parties for a dialogue on Kashmir, and it has been made clear by the government that Sharma has the mandate to talk to anyone he wishes to. From the beginning, the mainstream political parties, who also lauded the step taken by the government, were not counted among those averse or disinclined to the resumption of talks. It was the separatist leadership who had to be convinced that New Delhi is serious on resolving the dispute by a meaningful dialogue. Although pushed to the backstage with Hurriyat’s rejection to engage, there have still been some threads to keep it alive. Beginning with what UJC Chairman Syed Salahuddin said, he did not explicitly rule out the need for a meaningful dialogue as he said that he was not against the dialogue process. He put his own conditions but more importantly he chided the government for the loss of credibility that the dialogue process had suffered by the way New Delhi has been handling it. Hurriyat (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani too did not rule out the need of a meaningful dialogue. The separatists under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership have sent the same message – that they are not averse to talks but that New Delhi has to be honest and sincere to make them meaningful and result-oriented. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also has reiterated that dialogue with all stakeholders is needed to end the bloodshed in Kashmir. The opposition also shares the same thoughts on the matter. Therefore, with some certainty it can be said that no one in Kashmir is averse to talks but the only apprehension is the missing credibility. While there has been an opinion generated that the government is simply buying time, the damage done by other quarters has also pushed it to oblivion. Irresponsible statements issued by some mainstream politicians have made it more obscure than transparent. Even the interlocutors own statement, which was underlined by the media for their own purposes, pointing to the fact that deradicalizing of youth was a top priority, dealt it a blow before the talks could really begin. If talks fail to bring all on board it would be because of the loss of credibility and relentless campaigns by those who try to malign the peace initiatives. Hurriyat along with other groups have made it clear that they are not against the dialogue and their apprehensions rest on genuine grounds. Perhaps it is New Delhi that is not ready to work on its (dialogue process) credibility in Kashmir.                               


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