Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and president of the opposition National Conference (NC), Dr Farooq Abdullah, has cautioned the separatists against entering into a dialogue with the Centre saying it is neither sincere not ready to give them anything.
“Don’t fall in the trap. They didn’t give us autonomy (the resolution for) which was passed by the State Assembly and is within the ambit of the Constitution. What will they offer to you?,” he said in an interview to Greater Kashmir newspaper.
The BJP government at the Centre had recently said that it is willing to talk to separatists as well as Pakistan for seeking an amicable solution to the Kashmir imbroglio.
Reiterating it during his recent visit to Srinagar, home minister Rajnath Singh had said that the government is ready to hold talks with all stakeholders and believes that a dialogue needed “right-minded people” and not necessarily “like-minded people” to go well.
In their cautious response, an alliance of key separatist leaders had said that it was not in a hurry and that the issue would be discussed threadbare within the separatist echelons before taking a final call on it. Earlier in view of conflicting statements being made by various functionaries of the government, the alliance called ‘Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL)’ comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik had asked the government to clear the ‘ambiguity’ and ‘speak in one language on what you want to talk about’.
Mr Abdullah has asked the separatists not to talk for the sake of talks unless the Centre comes up with a concrete proposal. “Don’t talk for the sake of talks. I don’t think they (BJP) are ready to give you anything. They are not sincere in their intentions,” he has been quoted as saying.
Cautioning the separatists against falling in the “trap”, he has said, “They want to drag them to table only to discredit them”. The proposed talks, he said, were going to be “just for sake of it” and to “fill in the blanks.” He asserted there is pressure on India from the world that Kashmir must be normalised. He has also said that if the government was serious about holding talks it would have defined the contours of dialogue and specified what they want to talk about.
He asked, “Have they (the Center) started any process? Has any invitation letter gone to Hurriyat? And on what basis are they going to talk. They are just trying to hoodwink the people of Kashmir and the world community. This (dialogue offer) is driven by compulsion. There is pressure from the world on India that Kashmir must be normalized. The Prime Minister must be facing this question everywhere,” Mr. Abdullah has said.
The NC leader has said that the separatist leadership has been demanding that New Delhi should first accept Kashmir as a dispute to pave way for dialogue. “Is BJP ready to listen to the demand from separatists? No. So where and how will talks take place,” he has asked.
Taking a dig at the government’s conflicting statements, he said that one day it says that the Hurriyat Conference is irrelevant but the next day calls it relevant. “There is no concerted policy with BJP for Kashmir. They want to make them board the ship…the BJP has its own plans for Kashmir.” He has said that he also feels that the separatist leadership is not going to going to enter into a process of dialogue with New Delhi “unless Pakistan gives them a go ahead.”
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