Dialogue only if agenda is ‘resolution of Kashmir dispute’, says Mirwaiz

Dialogue only if agenda is ‘resolution of Kashmir dispute’, says Mirwaiz
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‘Will talk within ambit of humanity, not within ambit of Indian Constitution’

Srinagar: Spelling out the mechanism for any political engagement with the Government of India (GoI), Hurriyat (M) chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday said that the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) was ready to engage in dialogue if the “agenda of talks is solely the resolution of the Kashmir dispute”.
The statement of Mirwaiz assumes significance as it follows the JRL asking the GoI to clear the ambiguity around its dialogue offer.
Talking to Kashmir Reader, Mirwaiz, who is also Kashmir’s chief cleric, said: “We will not engage in the (dialogue) process just for the sake of it. The only dialogue that we will engage in has to be a step towards the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.”
However, he added, “The resistance leadership will talk within the ambit of humanity.”
The Mirwaiz said that while the GoI is claiming to have brought a halt to anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir, “the situation on ground is no different from the past”.
“In fact, the situation has worsened,” he asserted. “They (Indian armed forces) have stopped killing youth by bullets but have adopted a new tool of mowing down our youth to death.”
Since JRL’s response to Delhi’s dialogue offer is yet to elicit a response, a top J&K government functionary on Friday told Kashmir Reader that the GoI “has gone an extra mile to engage” the Hurriyat leaders and that the “ball was in their court now”.
However, Mirwaiz said that the GoI “keeps changing the goal post”.
“You have a (BJP) minister saying something today and the next day another minister says something completely opposite,” he said. “This approach will not lead the process anywhere, (but) it will create a hindrance.”
The Mirwaiz said that the resistance leaders “would not engage for anything less than the resolution of Kashmir’s political dispute.”
“I read a statement of a BJP leader saying that the GoI will engage with Hurriyat Conference as Indian citizens. Such statements are absurd. We will not talk within the ambit of Indian constitution,” the Mirwaiz said.
Before any such process begins, he said, “The GoI should take comprehensive initiatives like beginning the process of demilitarisation and release of political prisoners”.
He said that to move forward on Kashmir, there should be a proper mechanism. “The government should realize that the Hurriyat Conference will not engage for the sake of it. It should not be a conflict management exercise.”