SRINAGAR: The Kashmiri separatist leaders Tuesday rejected talks with interlocutor appointed by central government and termed former IB Director Dineshwar Sharma’s appointed as interlocutor as “nothing more than a tactic” to buy time by New Delhi.
In the first reaction to appointment of interlocutor, separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik in a joint statement today said, “For any Kashmiri to be part of this futile exercise will only undermine our internationally acknowledged legitimate and just struggle, nourished by the blood of our martyrs and great sacrifices and hardships rendered by the masses”.
“The appointment of Dineshwar Sharma by Government of India (GoI) as its interlocutor for J&K is nothing more than a tactic to buy time. This measure has been taken under international pressures and regional compulsions and due to the abysmal failure of the state policy of military repression upon the people of Kashmir,” they said.
On October 23, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had announced appointment of Sharma as interlocutor on Kashmir for starting a sustained dialogue with stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.
Referring to recent interview of interlocutor Sharma that he won’t allow Kashmir to become Syria, separatist leaders, who met at Geelani’s Hyderpora residence today before issuing the joint statement, said, “To compare the internationally recognized 70-year-old political and humanitarian issue of Kashmir with the sectarian war and power struggle in Syria is deception and propaganda. There is no correlation between the two situations”.
“Sharma also claimed that he is coming to Kashmir with GoI directive to restore peace rather than addressing the dispute or its resolution in keeping with the overwhelming majority sentiment of people of J&K. It limits the scope of any engagement with him and makes it an exercise in futility,” they said.
While referring to PM’s rejection of Congress leader Chidambaram’s suggestion of granting autonomy to J&K, the separatist leaders said, “If GoI even rejects demand of their own leaders about restoration of autonomy guaranteed by its own constitution by calling it a betrayal with soldiers, how will such a dispensation would address or engage with Kashmiri peoples' political will and aspiration of self-determination”.
“While the repressive state militaristic approach continues in dealing with Kashmir, to talk of peace and dialogue is also a ploy by New Delhi to strike a hard bargain, which people of Kashmir and leadership will never succumb to,” said Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik, who spearheaded over five month long unrest in the Valley last year after killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani”.
The leaders said unless the Kashmir dispute was understood and addressed in its historical context and in the background of international commitments, lasting peace can neither be achieved in J&K nor in the subcontinent.
“While in principle we have always advocated and supported sincere and productive dialogue as a means of conflict resolution over J&K and acknowledgement by parties to dialogue that there is a dispute that has to be resolved. However, New Delhi continuously refuses to accept this basic premise and the reality on the ground,” they said.