Delhi readies to ‘listen to’ separatists

PMO To Invite Hurriyat (M) For ‘Structured Dialogue’

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Dec 2: The Hurriyat (M) leadership is set to receive a formal invitation for a “structured dialogue” from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) soon after their return from Pakistan visit this month.
 The invite is expected to be a “low-key affair” and would reach the Hurriyat (M) camp through back-channel diplomats. The development comes close to the heels of Hurriyat’s fresh initiative of holding consecutive feedback sessions with the civil society in Kashmir before leaving for the Pakistan trip.
 “Let them return from Pakistan. They will get a formal invite from the PMO for a structured dialogue,” said Ashok Bhan, noted track-two diplomat. He said New Delhi is “seriously monitoring” the feedback sessions held by Mirwaiz led Hurriyat ahead of its Pakistan visit.
 “This is a welcome development. The Hurriyat leadership has decided to fill the vacuum created by last 22 years of strife. It is good to get people’s feedback on Kashmir imbroglio,” he said.
 Sources in New Delhi said the Prime Minister was ‘keen’ to hold talks with Hurriyat to start a fresh round of dialogue on Kashmir. “The focus of Government of India is to initiate a structured process. It won’t be limited to one or two rounds of talks but would be a continuous process till some conclusions is reached,” a source, privy to the move, said.
 Sources said Hurriyat (M) leadership would be reached through track-II diplomats, who would also hand over the formal invitation to the leaders. Many back-channel diplomats are on job like former RAW chief, A S Dulat, former chief information commissioner of India, Wajahat Habibullah and even Pradesh Congress Committee chief Saifudin Soz. “He (Soz) has to play his part too in ensuring that invite reaches the Hurriyat camp. Soz has to try to rope in other separatist leaders as well,” they said.
 Former interlocutor on Kashmir, Prof Radha Kumar said Hurriyat must show seriousness in initiating dialogue process with the Government of India. “We tried our level best to persuade the Hurriyat leaders for talks but to no avail. They will continue to have an open invitation after their Pakistan visit from New Delhi,” she said. “They have the open invitation from New Delhi even now. The only thing is they should cash on it and be a part of a bigger dialogue process.”
 On the Hurriyat’s feedback exercise, Kumar said it was good to meet people to get a fresh account of what they desire. “Every interaction with the people helps broaden your vision,” she said.
 Sources said New Delhi would watch the Hurriyat visit to Pakistan very “keenly” following the fact that Mirwaiz has already announced that they will not only meet the leaders in the Pakistan government, but those in opposition as well. “It is not we would go and meet a few leaders in the government. The country is going to polls very soon and a new leadership may emerge. So, we will meet opposition camp and other prominent and put forth our views and get their take on Kashmir issue as well,” Mirwaiz told civil society members on Saturday here.
 Hurriyat (M) delegation will leave for Pakistan on December 15.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 3 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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