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Ready to join talks if Centre speaks with clarity: Separatists

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Srinagar, May 29: Efforts by the Centre to find a solution to Kashmir problem “will find takers but the government should speak with clarity so that Hurriyat Conference can join the dialogue process,” the separatists said today.

“Any effort that Government of India makes in this direction will find takers in Kashmir and Pakistan. Let Government of India give clarity on what it wants to talk about and speak in one language, we are ready to join the process,” separatists Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said in a statement here.

The separatist trio was reacting to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement that the Centre was willing to talk to Hurriyat Conference and Pakistan for resolving Kashmir problem.

The separatists, however, claimed the statements about dialogue by the people at the helm of affairs in New Delhi were “unclear” and “ambiguous”.

They claimed that other senior functionaries had made statements which were at variance from what the Home Minister had said.

The separatists claimed they were not scoring any points by highlighting discrepancies and conflicts in the statements made by the government functionaries but “we want to understand what Government of India is conveying through them so that we can respond accordingly”.

“While Mr Rajnath says there should be dialogue with both Kashmir and Pakistan but both ‘Kashmir and Kashmiri is ours’, Ms Swaraj puts a rider and says no talks with Pakistan unless ‘terror is stopped’ and then Mr Amit Shah gives a spin to the ceasefire that’s it’s not for militants but people while state DGP had issued a statement that it’s for militants to come back home. All this ambiguity leaves little room to consider the talk about talks seriously with a purpose, warranting a response,” Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik said in a joint statement.

They said “these statements come a few days after Mr Modi said in Srinagar that the panacea to the Kashmir problem according to him is ‘development’ and ‘peace is a prerequisite for that to happen’, putting the onus of  bringing peace on people while absolving Government of India of all role and responsibility  in the matter.”

The separatists said “deliberately choosing to ignore the historical background of the Kashmir problem, its internal and external dimensions, the reason for the presence of lakhs of his troops here, the daily aggression and the highly volatile situation on ground and near LoC in the conflict-ridden region, it is like Mr Modi was playing a cruel joke on the people.”

They said “after Mr Rajnath Singh said that ‘we are ready to talk to Pakistan and Hurriyat’, Ms Sushma Swaraj added riders and caveats to it and Mr Amit Shah put out his clarifications, not to upset his electoral applecart and calculations.”

Now the question is, they asked “what is this talks which Mr Singh is referring to? What is the agenda of these talks? Is it be about Mr Modi’s suggestion of development?”

They said since people of J&K are at the receiving end of the lingering 70-years-old conflict, “being the worst affected, we are most keen to find an end to it, and have always advocated that being a political and human issue it needs to be addressed likewise, not militarily as GoI has been doing.”

And for a political redressal of the conflict dialogue among stakeholders is the best process and option available, they said.

“As J&K is a divided territory and half of it is in Pakistan, this dispute has three stakeholders – India, Pakistan and the people of this land. Meaningful talks based on a clear agenda underlined by sincerity among all the three stakeholders is an assured and peaceful way to resolve the conflict of Kashmir in all its forms and dimensions,” the separatists trio said.

They said absence of any one stakeholder in the process will not yield to any solution. “It is also important to have transparency in such a process and an assurance from all sides that promises and pledges made will be honoured.

“Talks that are so held keeping in view the concerns and needs of stakeholders especially the most afflicted party, to the satisfaction of all will surely be successful and result oriented,” they said.

“Any effort that GoI makes in this direction will find takers in Kashmir and Pakistan. Let GoI give clarity on what it wants to talk about and speak in one language we are ready to join the process.”

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