Prof. Bhat ‘opens’ doors for Interlocutor


Srinagar: Known for stoking controversies, separatist leader and a former Chairman of the Hurriyat Conference, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat has said that he has no reason to say no to talks with centres point man, Dineshwar Sharma.

 “Yes, the doors of my office are open to everyone – Whosoever wants to talk (on Kashmir issue.) If I have a valid reasons, why should I shut the door of my office. However, involvement of Pakistan in the talks for finding a solution to the Kashmir issue is a must,” Prof Abdul Gani Bhat said.

Pertinently, Bhat has negated his co-separatist leader views that talks with Dineshwar Sharma will ‘yield nothing’. The separatist leadership has expressed its opinion on talks by saying that unless ground situation changes in the state, talks cannot be held. 

“War is no solution. I am not a votary of war. Both India and Pakistan are nuclear states. It is through dialogue that the problem could be solved but involvement of Pakistan is imperative,” he said, adding involvement of Pakistan in the talks is mentioned in the constitution of the Hurriyat as well as Muslim Conference, a party he is heading.

“It is not only the future of Jammu and Kashmir but the future of entire south Asian region is at stake,” he said while making a reference to the vexed Kashmir issue.

“War is no option but talks inclusive of Pakistan are imperative for a lasting solution to the issue,” the former Hurriyat Chairman said.  

He expressed his readiness for talks with Sharma.

“The doors of my office are open to everyone. If people come to me for talks, I will talk and make my point. However, without involving Pakistan no breakthrough on Kashmir is possible,” he said.

“If he (sharma) chooses to meet me, it will be nice. I will welcome him at my office. He will be received well, I will meet and talk and put across the facts about the Kashmir issue. Unless talks happen, no positive results are expected”, Bhat said.

He said there was need to contribute towards an environment for sanity. “You may not be able to achieve a breakthrough but the matter of the fact is that talks have to happen and you have to talk sense”, Bhat said.

Notably, Bhat’s stand has relieved to some extent the Government of India’s anxiety as its representative received a cold shoulder, contrary to his predecessors who were received with open arms by one and all.

Even the main opposition, National Conference, boycotted Sharma. Apart from the working President of the party Omar Abdullah, no one from the party which ruled the state for  nearly 30 years, met Sharma.  Sharma left his Hari Niwas Office and called on Omar who lives a few meters away from the guest house.   

So far the main stakeholders, the Joint resistance leadership, comprising Hurriyat factions headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and JKLF Chief Mohammad Yaseen Malik, has out rightly rejected the offer of talks with Sharma terming the initiative as a ‘futile exercise and waste of time’. (Kashmir Wire)

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