In their first formal response to the Centre’s dialogue offer , separatist leaders said on Tuesday that they were ready to join the talks if New Delhi offered more clarity.
“Talks should keep in view the concerns of the stakeholders, especially the most affected party, and should be result-oriented. Any effort that the Government of India (GoI) takes in this direction will find takers in Kashmir and Pakistan. Let the GoI provide clarity on what it wants to talk about and speak in one language... we are ready to join the process,” said a joint statement issued by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik.
The trio met at the residence of Mr. Geelani.
Describing the offer as “unclear and ambiguous so far,” the separatists said, “[Union Home Minister] Mr. Rajnath Singh says there should be dialogue with both Kashmir and Pakistan, but both ‘Kashmir and Kashmiri are ours.’ [External Affairs Minister] Ms. Sushma Swaraj puts a rider and says ‘no talks with Pakistan unless terror stops.’ [Prime Minister] Mr. Modi says development is the solution. All this ambiguity leaves little room for us to consider the dialogue seriously.”
The Hurriyat leader termed dialogue the best process for political redressal.
“J&K is a divided territory. This dispute has three stakeholders — India, Pakistan and the people of this land. Absence of any one stakeholder in the process will not yield any solution,” they said.
Militant outfits, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, have rejected the dialogue offer and the ceasefire.
Specify contours: CPI(M)
CPI(M) leader MLA M.Y. Tarigami also asked the Centre to specify the contours of the dialogue.
“There is a perception that a chain of broken promises, repeated interruptions and palpable lack of honesty in the past were the reason for the failure of the earlier initiatives. The Centre has created a window of opportunity and should not once again be vague and hazy,” said Mr. Tarigami. “The dialogue should be structured, sustained and sincere. It should go beyond the beaten track.”
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the present situation could emerge as “a win-win deal.” “The leadership of the State has a chance to translate the ideas of dialogue and reconciliation into a living reality,” said PDP general secretary Mansoor Hussain Soharwardhy.