no to dialogue sans logic
the just concluded Kashmir visit of Prime Minister, Atal Bihari
Vajpayee had any silver lining for the hapless Kashmiris, it was his
invitation to All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) for dialogue.
Economic packages may have some sort of relevance but basically it
is the political nature of the issue that needs to be addressed and
offer of dialogue is being viewed as the first step in the right
direction. But the reaction of the Chairman of Hurriyat, Prof Abdul
Gani Bhat, has surprised many a political observers who view Bhat's
rejection of offer as negation of his own oft-repeated stand over
the issue of talks.
Memories in politics are
short lived. It may have evaporated from the mind of Bhat that he
wrote letters to the President of Pakistan and Premier of India
seeking dialogue over Kashmir tangle. While Parvez Musharraf during
his Agra Summit met APHC leaders at New Delhi, much to the dismay of
his hosts, Vajpayee took a long time to react to the letter. He
found his Srinagar visit as the proper time to invite APHC
leadership for the talks.
But the summary rejection
of the offer has put a question mark over the political wisdom of
the leadership. APHC leadership has become habitual of giving
knee-jerk reactions. Be it Hizbul Mujahideen cease-fire in 2000,
Dubai meet of Kashmiri leaders or Vajpayee's latest offer, the
leadership has always reacted without considering the pros and cons
of the situation. It is true that government of India's rigid and
unrealistic approach is multiplying the troubles of Kashmiri people
but it in no way can be used as an excuse to deliberately close down
all the openings.
If the Prime Minister of a
country, that has all along been shying away fro m a dialogue,
invites Kashmiri leadership for talks, the leadership should have
grabbed the opportunity to bring its people out of the present mess.
People of Jammu and Kashmir are at the receiving end. They are
offering sacrifices for the resolution of the issue. The party that
faces the brunt of the situation cannot say no to the
When K C Pant came to
Kashmir for talks on behalf of Government of India, Hurriyat said
they were ready for the talks but the Government of India should
upgrade the level of talks. Now that the Government of India has
upgraded the process to the level of Prime Minister, APHC's
rejection negates its own stand. Battles are not won by sloganeering
but strategies. Agonized and traumatized Kashmiris are waiting for a
messiah with a heart to feel their pain.
likes it or nor, fact of the matter is that the people of Kashmir
strongly favour a dialogue to resolve the issue. They have seen much
of violence and bloodshed. They have seen great leaders like Abdul
Gani Lone falling to the blind violence. They don't want more graves
but peace with dignity and honour and for that leadership has to
rise to the occasion and look for new openings, Vajpayee's offer of
dialogue being the one. If APHC and other separatist leaders, do not
understand the call of the time, the same time will make them
irrelevant and they will go down in the history of Kashmir as the
bunch of people who were paid for making hue and cry to sustain
violence. Anyone in the politics of Kashmir who has eye on the
history will not give reaction the way Hurriyat Chairman has given
to the offer of talks, dished out by PM of India.
The author is the Chief Editor of Kashmir
Images published from Srinagar, Kashmir.