Geelani, Yasin Malik, Farooq
Key Kashmiri seperatist leaders Yasin Malik (L), Syed Ali Shah Geelani (C) and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq hold hands after addressing a press confrence in Srinagar on November 8, 2016.TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images

For the last four years of Narendra Modi-led BJP gpvernment at the centre, the talks with the separatist leadership in Kashmir has failed to take off. However, times may be changing as the J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik hinted at the possibility of the resumption in the dialogue process with the seaparatists. Malik said during an event in Srinagar on Saturday that the Hurriyat leaders in the Valley are ready for talks. He called it as a positive sign. He added that Hurriyat leaders were not interested in the talks before but are now ready to involve in the process.

The J&K Governor’s statement came a day after the Chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (Moderate ), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that if Narendra Modi government initiates any talks process, the separatist leaders in the Valley will respond positively to it. Mirwaiz Umar said that since BJP led government has won the recent Lok Sabha elections with a massive mandate, it is possible for it to resume the dialogue process with the people in Kashmir Valley for which Hurriyat will act as a mediator.

Mirwaiz emphasised that the iron fist policy of the Narendra Modi government towards Kashmir problem has alienated the people from the rest of the country. “My strong belief is that the Indian government should open all communication channels with then,”people in Kashmir and further with the government of Pakistan,” Miwaiz told the Daily Excelsior.

He said that the muscular policy of young boys who take up arms in Kashmir has not solved the problem. “Infact, more and more young men are driven towards militancy now,” Mirwaiz added. He said that the Atal Bihari-led BJP government in the Centre had also initiated various Confidence Building measures among which the dialogue process was also a key one. Mirwaiz said that Narendra Modi should emulate Vajpayee’s model in Kashmir.

With Hurriyat leaders in jail, how will dialogue proceed?

Ironically, the rumours around the resumption in the dialogue process has come at a time when the Union Home Minister Amit Shah has talked tough against anyone who does not abide by the country’s constitution.

The central government has already detained the key separatist leaders including Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah and various others in jail for their involvement in anti-national activities. The hardline leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who has openly advocated for accession of Kashmir towards Pakistan was barred from speaking at an event in the Kashmir University on Friday. Several others have been kept under house arrest.

Soldiers take position during a gun-battle with militants at Rehmatabad village in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore district on Feb 21, 2015.
Soldiers take position during a gun-battle with militants at Rehmatabad village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore district on Feb 21, 2015. Two foreign guerrillas belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group were killed in the encounter.IANS

On the other hand, the security forces have been directed for zero tolerance against militants. The top leadership of various active militant outfits such as Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba has also been eliminated. Under prevailing circumstances, the resumption of dialogue as indicated by the J&K Governor has taken everyone by surprise.

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