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EditorialWhom should All Party Delegation listen to?

Whom should All Party Delegation listen to?


Whom should All Party Delegation listen to?

Everybody and anybody who just knows by its name has been talking about holding talks with all stakeholders, engaging separatists, dialogue with Pakistan, talk with youth, talk with those who shun violence, entering into talks with people so on and so forth. Another somebody from Bhaderwah close to 10 Janpath, wants the channel of talks to remain open.

Those who claimed being somebody in Kashmir ask New Delhi to talk to everybody to whom they earlier treated as nobody when in power. Interestingly, these nobodies now term the so called mainstream leaders in power and opposition alike as nobodies to invite them to enter talks with the All-party delegation in Srinagar and they refused to talk.

Further, the All Party delegation treated the two major regions of this beleaguered state- and Ladakh as nobodies as it wanted the elected MLA and other opposition leaders to meet the delegation at Srinagar on short notice which they refused.

That way entire exercise of sending an All Party delegation to facilitate peace in Kashmir remained futile as nobody talked to anybody.

The print, electronic and web media have been flooded with various statements and suggesting the crux of a common theme that the Government of should hold talks with Pakistan and Kashmiris (of course excluding two major regions of Jammu and Ladakh) to find a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue that often embroils into violence.

Another suggestion mostly given is that India should talk to ‘all stakeholders' on Kashmir imbroglio. The current visit of All Party Delegation (APD) to Kashmir led by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has sent out the message that the Centre wants to talk to the people of the valley and to build an “emotional bond” with them. But by and large most of the people of consequences refused to meet them. Shutting doors by Ali Shah Geelani for the MPs of Red Brigade and Janta Dal (S) was no less than throwing egg on the face of these leaders.

An important question yet to be answered is— who truly represents the people of Kashmir? And of course; whom to talk to?

For the sake of political expediency, the government claimed meeting of nearly 200 people with the APD from a cross section of society, but those responsible for whipping the passion and instigating violence declined to meet APD.

The sum and substance of those who met him contained one message — hold dialogue with “all stakeholders”. The implied meaning of the phrase ‘all stakeholders' referred to holding of talks with the Hurriyat whose representative character is questioned.  Even the senior coalition partner People's Democratic Party and main opposition party National Conference want the Centre to talk to “all stakeholders”. In the emerging scenario, where all the Kashmir centric parties under ‘Radical Kashmir Doctrines' undisputedly push the Centre to accept Kashmir as a political problem and not to see it through development or security perspective.

The arguments are advanced to initiate certain CBMs ahead of the more difficult task of amending or repealing AFSPA as it would signal that the government wants to bond with the people of the Valley. Protests and demands have graduated from lifting of the AFSPA, total restraint on security apparatus, no search operations, removing the deployment of security forces etc to higher echelon of Azadi.

Refusing point blank for talks, the Hurryat and all those others with similar response to the offer of talks are doing disservice to the broader cause for bringing peace in the Kashmir valley. The seriousness of the present situation demands that political parties begin to forge a lasting consensus on how to move forward on Kashmir, which inevitably has to include talks with those interested to end the cycle of violence. However, two big regions Jammu and Ladakh cannot be ruled out in terms of importance. The delegation must listen to the voice of people of Jammu province and Ladakh besides the Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs and other minorities of the state.


The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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