Dialogue has become a word people have lost trust in: Mirwaiz

Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (M) chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has said that there was “never any official invite or any attempt by the Government of India” to reach out to the Hurriyat.

He was reacting to the Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh’s statement that government was ready to talk but Hurriyat leaders refused to talk and snubbed all-party delegation in 2016.

Mirwaiz while speaking to The Indian Express said that New Delhi’s approach and agenda was military-driven, and that “there is absolutely no political process or thought in terms of dealing with Kashmir. “They are dealing with Kashmir as we have seen in the last three or four years with an iron fist and their military policy is what is guiding BJPs policy on Kashmir,” Mirwaiz told The Indian Express.

On the main issue, the political dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, on which talks and deliberations should be held, “there was never any clarity on that”, he added. Stating that Singh’s statement was not based on fact, Mirwaiz said that the Hurriyat and Joint resistance Leadership (JRL) had stated on record that “we want to engage and we want to see a political solution to this problem and we have always maintained that we want to engage with both India and Pakistan”.

On the Centre’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma’s attempts at holding talks with the Hurriyat, Mirwaiz said, “This exercise is not going to yield anything because in the past also we have seen interlocutors and special representatives coming and giving their reports. All these reports have never been taken up by the Government of India.”

He hoped that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would revisit that policy but that never happened, and it was clear that the government wanted to use military might and suppress the voice of the people, The Indian Express report said.

Mirwaiz cautioned that by completely isolating and trying to marginalise the political players, the Hurriyat and JRL, “what they have done is that they have left that space open. That vacuum has created a situation where people have lost hope of any political movement forward. Dialogue has become a word people have lost trust in.”

He underscored that the government needs to realise that blocking the space for conversation has led to a situation where “anger, hate and resentment against India has gone up” and “they accuse us of inciting stone-pelters and a whole misinformation campaign was launched against us, but the fact is that two years down the line, what is happening is much worse. See what is happening in South Kashmir with young boys, it is very painful for us. But that is what their policy is. It is very clear that this is what the BJP has in mind.” (Indian Express)

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