Srinagar: The Union government has appointed an interlocutor on Kashmir and has given him full powers to talk to everyone or anyone in Kashmir so that a solution can be found to the vexed Kashmir issue.
Appointment of a former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma, who will be the Centre’s new special representative for ensuring a sustained dialogue with all stakeholders in the state is seen as a fresh move aimed at bringing peace in the state.
The move of the union government has come after lot of deliberations and discussions within the BJP and some people who were active on track two to ensure some sort of beginning so that the Valley is able to witness the return of peace.
Even though the announcement from the Union government was expected as the Union Home Minister had over the past one month dropped enough hints as he earlier had said that the Government of India (GoI) won’t go against sentiments of Jammu and Kashmir as far as special status of the State including Article 35-A was concerned. He had also announced that any solution to the Kashmir issue is to be seen within a formula of 5Cs.
The Union governments announcement and appointing an interlocutor who is given a Cabinet Secretary rank shows that the government is sincere to the extent that compared to the earlier announced interlocutors the government this time has owned Shrama by providing him a status to go ahead and get all the stake holders involved in the process of negotiations.
However, as of now very few stake holders including the separatists have shown a Luke warm response to the offer of talks so far. The reasons may be innumerable, but one thing is sure that the issue of Kashmir has been hanging in air for almost six decades now. The last three have been the worse in terms of human and physical losses the state has witnessed.
Not only have lakhs of people died, thousands orphaned and widowed, but numerous others have been left at the mercy of others for support and help as their sole bread earners have fallen to the violence.
Now the moot question that needs to be answered is how long can the people of Kashmir afford this. Are we in a position to bear these loses further. These are the questions that need answers from everyone, including the separatist leadership who have been escaping the responsibility of taking this nation out of the morass it has landed up in.
Shying away from talks is not an option. At least not given the circumstances we are trapped in. The separatist leadership needs to keep in mind that they are claiming to be on a firm ground and if they are firm and steadfast on their resolution then the opponents cannot escape the responsibility of accepting and acknowledging the reality.
Talks need to be taken seriously and if seriousness becomes the benchmark then a solution is bound to be found.