No early resumption of dialogue with Kashmiri separatists

April 29th, 2008 - 2:46 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Jammu, April 29 (IANS) The Indian government wants Kashmiri separatist leaders to test their strength in the 2008 assembly elections before resuming a dialogue with them. According to well informed official sources, the subject of the dialogue with the separatists came up during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Jammu last week.

The sources said it was argued that involving separatists in dialogue ahead of the elections would be a good idea to showcase the efforts of the Indian leadership in taking everyone along.

However, while the prime minister was of the view that doors for the dialogue were open, he was not sure whether the talks with the separatist leaders at this point of time would yield any results, sources said.

The separatists, it was pointed out , have an option to take part in polls, get elected and become a political voice of the people and then enter into negotiations.

Another option before them was to come forward and air their views at the next round table conference, which the government is thinking of holding before the elections, if possible.

The moderate faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, which has held four round of talks with New Delhi since January 2004 - two each with the NDA and the UPA governments - has declined to take part in the polls.

The dialogue between the two sides has remained suspended since May 2006.

“Polls are no roadmap to the Kashmir solution,” Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah has said. It has been endorsed by other leaders of the amalgam, including the Mirwaiz.

The official sources said: “Under such circumstances, there is no possibility of any immediate dialogue between the separatists and the government.”

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