Srinagar: Former top intelligence officer and Kashmir expert, A S Dulat Tuesday said that separatist Hurriyat must welcome the announcement of sustained dialogue and appointment of an interlocutor on Kashmir by the central government.
Dulat said that he welcomes the decision of the centre government to initiate talks on Kashmir.
“I welcome the announcement. Dialogue must start. Though it is delayed but it is better late than never,” Dulat said in reply to a question.
He said that Hurriyat should participate in the dialogue process and “must welcome it”. “There is no other option than talks for resolving issues. Hurriyat must talk,” he said.
Hurriyat Conference has been tightlipped on the announcement of the dialogue.
Asked about other interlocutors on Kashmir appointed by successive governments and their reports pending in the home ministry, Dulat said that it was the “time to move forward”.
“Let’s not move backwards. Let’s move forward and hope for a positive outcome,” he said.
On the NIA raids on separatists and announcement of dialogue, he said, “Once the dialogue starts, hopefully these raids will stop”.
Dulat said that Dineshwar Sharma, who is the interlocutor on Kashmir, is a good man, and he has been in Kashmir.
“He (Dineshwar Sharma) understands the pain of Kashmir,” Dulat said.
Contrary to its stand from the last three years, BJP government on Monday announced that a sustained dialogue will be started on Kashmir through its interlocutor, former Director of IB, Dineshwar Sharma, to understand “legitimate aspirations” of people in Jammu and Kashmir.