Not Necessary To Have Separatists Part Of All Indo-Pak Talks: PDP

31 August 2015
Greater Kashmir
Altaf Baba

Baramulla: The Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti Monday said it 'isn't necessary to include separatists in all dialogues' between India and Pakistan. 'During the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpyee's time, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed started a political process (on Kashmir). Unfortunately that political process couldn't move forward. Today we are restarting it from zero. So far as Hurriyat conference is concerned, we have said and we believe that in a democracy everyone has a right to put forth his point. But when you want to talk on border firing, talk on terrorism which Pakistan as well as India is facing, it is not necessary that you (separatists) will be a part of every dialogue,' she told reporters here. Mehbooba statement is in a sharp contrast to the party's oft-repeated assertion that it wants to engage separatists in a dialogue process. Even the agenda of the PDP-BJP alliance categorically mentions that the 'coalition government will facilitate and help initiate a sustained and meaningful dialogue with all internal stakeholders, which will include all political groups irrespective of their ideological views and predilections. This dialogue will seek to build a broad based consensus on resolution of all outstanding issues of J&K.' Mehbooba, however said, when talks between the two countries are about resolution of Kashmir, 'every concerned party including Hurriyat Conference can be a part of it as they were in the past during their meeting with Musharraf.' 'When talks between the two countries are confined to cross-border terrorism or ceasefire violations, what role can Hurriyat play?' Mehbooba asked. 'However Hurriyat leaders too can participate in talks if these are aimed at resolution of Kashmir. They have met Gen Musharaf in the past and even Dr Manmohan Singh, as these talks were in the direction of resolving Kashmir. But if talks are confined to other issues between the two countries, Hurriyat has no role.' 'LOSS FOR KASHMIRIS' Urging Delhi to follow '2003 model', Mehbooba said her party stands for 'peace, stability and prosperity' in Jammu and Kashmir. 'There is no substitute to dialogue and the policy of peace and reconciliation that was put in place after 2002 assembly elections in and around J&K,' she said, addressing a PDP workers convention at Baramulla. 'Unfortunately the successive governments in the state didn't pursue the process of reconciliation initiated under the leadership of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2002. Even the cross LoC bus flagged off in 2003 was never changed,' she said. She said that the recent calling off of the NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan was a big setback for 'us Kashmiris'. WHAT AGENDA OF ALLIANCE READS The earlier NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had initiated a dialogue process with all political groups, including the Hurriyat Conference, in the spirit of 'Insaaniyat, Kashmiriyat aur Jamhooriyat'. Following the same principles, the coalition government will facilitate and help initiate a sustained and meaningful dialogue with all internal stakeholders, which will include all political groups irrespective of their ideological views and predilections. This dialogue will seek to build a broad based consensus on resolution of all outstanding issues of J&K.