By JAVID AHMAD WANI
New Delhi has appointed Dineshwar Sharma- an ex IB chief- as an interlocutor for Kashmir. Sharma’s plate is already full, as he is busy with , at least, three similar assignments in the North East. Kashmir will be his fourth. It is said that he has vast experience of Kashmir affairs and above all he had himself served in Kashmir. In an interview with a news channel, Sharma stated that he is emotionally attached with Kashmir and wants to see it peaceful. Inter-alia, he said that the people of Kashmir have to choose between Pakistan and peace.
But, the history of dialogue in Kashmir tells us a different story: the institution of dialogue has lost much of the credibility and trust in Kashmir. The pusillanimous approach adopted by New Delhi has left the talks nowhere.
The first genuine and real attempt to reach out to the people of Kashmir through dialogue was the appointment of KC pant as an interlocutor. However, the process was soon stopped as India and Pakistan came closer to war, following an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001. The next year in 2002 Ram Jethmalani led a Kashmir committee-a track II group of eight members to reach out to the solution. But the group ended in nowhere. In 2003 , the Government once again appointed an interlocutor –N N Vohra, former home secretary , who continued on the job till being appointed governor of the state in 2008, a position he holds even today. Various other players, who entered the game of trying a solution were former RAW chief A S Dulat, Arun jaitley, R.K Mishra , but all in vain. No fruitful results were achieved after such exercises.
The agitation of 2010 resulted in the appointment of yet another three member group of interlocutors headed by Dilip Padgaonkor, with M M Ansari and Miss Radha Kumar as its other members. The trio submitted their 176 page report in May 2012, which was an amalgam of a variety of proposals. Ruling out the return to the pre 1953 position , the interlocutors , on May 2012 , recommended the setting up of a constitutional committee to review all acts and articles of the Constitution of India extended to Jammu and Kashmir , while favouring upholding of Article 370. However, the recommendations were never implemented and might be eating dust in North Block. Similarly, the recommendations submitted by the concerned Citizens group led by Yashwant Sinha were also ignored.
Almost all of these interlocutors failed because of the lack of will on the part of New Delhi to solve the issue of Kashmir. These interlocutors were appointed just to buy the time and hoodwink the international community. Whenever India feels pressure over Kashmir, it rushes to the institution of dialogue. The present move is simply to give cover to the government’s hard-line policy in and over Kashmir.
—The author is a student of Political Science. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org