Informed sources said that many former interlocutors and “old Kashmir hands” were being consulted by the Union Home Ministry to do the homework before any announcements regarding the process of talks with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.
A Kashmiri Pandit affiliated with a national political party has been assigned the task of carrying the message of reconciliation and hold serious talks with hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, reports said.
The development follows Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s announcement in Srinagar recently that an all parties delegation will soon arrive in Srinagar. Singh had also said that he has asked the state’s Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to prepare the ground for it.
The Central government’s decision for an all party meet came after all the opposition parties from J&K urged Prime Minster Narendra Modi to talk to the people of the valley for a permanent solution to Kashmir problem.
Earlier, New Delhi had been ignoring the Hurriyat, while trying to hammer out all disputes including Kashmir with Islamabad alone. Kashmir’s separatist leaders want confidence building measures to be taken before any kind of dialogue with New Delhi.
A senior leader from the Mirwaiz group told this newspaper that they would not shy away from the talks, provided a roadmap was announced and it was result oriented. “We had held several rounds of talks with former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani in the past and there was a lot of forward movement. The BJP government had even talked to Hizbul. They know from where they need to pick up the threads. We will give a positive response,” the leader said.
The political leadership of Jammu and Kashmir is pinning their hopes on some grand announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the pattern of the “ramzan ceasefire”, announced by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee which saw the beginning of a dialogue between Srinagar and New Delhi.