Tripartite talks with Pakistan on Kashmir issue unacceptable

The offer by All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to help solve the Kashmir issue has evoked a cautious response from both the Ministries of External Affairs and Home.

“The conditions for self-determination and tripartite talks laid down by him are not new. The talks can be held only within the constitutional framework. Time and again, it has been reiterated that tripartite talks with Pakistan over the issue are unacceptable,” said a senior official.

The official recounted that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had, during his visit to the Kashmir Valley in June 2010, reached out to the separatists, offering fresh talks. “But they turned down the offer. It is now up to the new government at the Centre to chart the future course.”

There was no official comment from the Ministry of External Affairs but government officials said India’s consistent policy was totally different from Mr. Farooq’s call for self-determination and a solution acceptable to all parties — India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The government also differed with his view that the onus was on the Indian government for a “serious, result-oriented and time-bound process of dialogue.” The diplomats pointed out that every Indian attempt towards this had been torpedoed by acts of violence masterminded by Pakistan-based groups, the most heinous being the 2008 Mumbai attack. The sources also objected to Mr. Farooq’s tenor, which glossed over uninterrupted subversive activities directed from across the border for over two decadesas also the failure of a section of the Kashmiri leadership to suggest workable proposals for resolving the dispute.

“I find the statement the same old tired and clichéd articulation, anachronistic and out of touch with reality,” said Pinak R. Chakravarty, a former Secretary in the MEA.

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