SRINAGAR: After Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced appointment of former IB chief Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor for sustained dialogue with all stakeholders on Kashmir, the top separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohamamd Yasin Malik are tightlipped while a Shia leader, who is senior leader of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference favoured tripartite talks between India, Pakistan and leadership of Kashmir for resolving the Kashmir issue.
Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, moderate Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and pro-independence Mohammad Yasin Malik have remained tightlipped and refused to take call of media persons to give their viewpoint on the appointment of Sharma as interlocutor on Kashmir by central government.
Sources said Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik, who spearheaded over five month long unrest in the Valley last year after killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016, are engaged in deliberations and decided to wait-and-watch.
They said the leaders want to know what would be the mandate of the interlocutor and whether any condition would be attached with the dialogue process.
“After the central government clears some issues on dialogue, the separatist leadership may come out with a joint statement,” sources said adding there is least possibility of the separatists accepting the talks offer till some confidence building measures including release of separatist leaders arrested by NIA and lifting of curbs on them are announced.
Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik are now issuing united protest programmes under the banner of “Joint Resistance Leadership”.
However, Shia leader and senior leader of moderate faction of Hurriyat led by Mirwaiz, Maulana Masroor Abbas said they understand that long lasting solution of Kashmir issue can be found through result-oriented dialogue.
“For that India has to accept disputed nature of Kashmir and take concrete measures to resolve the Kashmir issue as per its historical perspective,” he said.
Masroor, whose father is former Hurriyat Conference chairman and was part of the Hurriyat delegation that met then Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani and then Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, said in past India had appointed interlocutors on Kashmir but their reports were not made public till now.
“If India thinks that Kashmir is a law and order issue then dialogue process is a futile exercise because Kashmir issue represents the aspirations of people of Kashmir,” he said
Masroor said in past, they had held talks with Indian PM and put their views and perspective before him but till date Indian government has not taken any concrete step to resolve the issue.,
“Appointing former IB director as interlocutor seems to be a time consuming process and nothing else. By appointing an interlocutor now or in the past has not helped resolve the Kashmir issue. Kashmir is a very sensitive issue and India and Pakistan have fought three wars over it,” he said.
“We are clear -- either the UN resolutions on Kashmir should be implemented or all three parties to the dispute should be engaged in result oriented dialogue,” Masroor said adding, “Tripartite talks between Kashmiri leadership, India and Pakistan is the only solution to the Kashmir issue. Till Pakistan is not taken into confidence and all three parties hold meaningful dialogue, there can be no solution to the issue”.
Meanwhile, former interlocutor M M Ansari told New Indian Express how can separatists welcome appointment of interlocutor.
“The government has jailed many separatist leaders and many more are facing charges from NIA,” he said.
Ansari said the separatists had met Advani, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh in the past and now they are being termed as proxies of Pakistan and alleged to be involved in hawala funding and NIA has been used against them.
“They have been isolated and humiliated. I don’t think Hurriyat will go for dialogue with interlocutor,” he said adding, “They want talks at level of Home Minister and Prime Minister .”
“I don’t think this effort is a sincere one,” he said.
Before initiating dialogue, he said, the centre has to announce CBMs including release of separatists and youth. “Several CBMs were suggested but the government has not announced them.”
Ansari said he does not think Sharma would reach out to Hurriyat because the centre has said they are not stakeholders but proxies of Pakistan.
“I don’t think he is going to achieve much of a political objective,” he said.
On interlocutor, Ansari said since Sharma comes from a police background and he does not think he can resolve the political problem.
“The interlocutor has no political background. He is going to give more inputs to security forces on how to deal with the situation –militancy and law and order,” he said adding, “Let us see what kind of healing touch he offers. We will see how he deals with HR abuses and use of pellet guns and whether he can remove alienation of the youth”.
He said Sharma’s appointment is more related to security issues, which army and forces have been handling. “Despite using brute force, nothing has been achieved so far and they need more insight in the intelligence reporting from security forces.”
“He will gather more information about intellingence. Despite using force by army and other forces, there are militant attacks and on political workers and police officers,” Ansari said.