Separatists dismiss Russia dialogue; say India, Pak PMs should focus on Kashmir

With the exception of the moderate Hurriyat Conference, most separatists on Friday said the joint statement by the Indian and Pakistan prime ministers had come as a "disappointment" for the people of Kashmir and that their meeting in Russia was in keeping with "diplomatic compulsion".

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 10, 2015, 19:32 PM IST

Srinagar: With the exception of the moderate Hurriyat Conference, most separatists on Friday said the joint statement by the Indian and Pakistan prime ministers had come as a "disappointment" for the people of Kashmir and that their meeting in Russia was in keeping with "diplomatic compulsion".

"We did not expect any breakthrough from the meeting. It was just a diplomatic compulsion for the prime ministers of the two countries," Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of the hardline Hurriyat, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, told PTI.

He said that instead of such meetings, where a wide range of issues are discussed, the two countries should focus on the core issue of Kashmir.

"Our stand is clear; they (India, Pakistan) should both concentrate on the core issue and resolve Kashmir. Till Kashmir issue is addressed, such talks will be futile. They will be disappointing," he said.

Akbar said "there is nothing new" in the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif. "These have been going on and such meetings are not result-oriented," he added.

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik termed the process "futile" and said the joint statement had disappointed the people of Kashmir.

"Issues and conflicts can only be resolved through dialogue. But the way this process has been turned futile and non-serious in case of Jammu and Kashmir has created doubts in the minds of common people and the people of the state have lost faith in this institution.

"The joint declaration issued after the meeting has disappointed Kashmiris," he said.

War cannot end problems and dialogue is the only way to resolve conflicts and issues, Malik said.

He added, however, that "for the success of dialogue, it is equally important to have seriousness and focus on conflict resolution".

"Dialogue should not be for fun, timepass and putting real issues on the back-burner. Kashmiris are not against peace and progress between Indian and Pakistan.

"We want these two countries to get together and resolve their issues but, at the same time, Indian and Pakistani leadership will have to also demonstrate some magnanimity regarding Kashmiris," Malik said.

He said that the two countries cannot prosper and progress while "keeping the entire Kashmiri nation as hostage for their petty gains".

"India and Pakistan have held several rounds of talks in the last 68 years, but have failed to make any progress, especially on Kashmir. This non-seriousness and inconclusive attitude is responsible for the disaster of Kashmiri nation, which has lost its three generations in the last six decades.

"This attitude of timepass and putting serious issues on the back-burner will further ignite the situation and Indian and Pakistani leaders should know that without resolving the Jammu and Kashmir issue, the dreams of a peaceful and progressive South Asia will never come true," he said.

The moderate Hurriyat Conference, meanwhile, welcomed the meeting, saying that the basic issue between the two countries was that of Kashmir.

"The basic issue between India and Pakistan is Kashmir. Neither can it be sidelined nor ignored. Both the countries need to understand that the core issue is not terrorism, Siachen, trade or the 26/11 Mumbai attacks trial case," Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq told reporters here.

He, however, said that unless talks were held on Kashmir, the dialogue process cannot move forward.

"These issues are important, but the core issue is Kashmir. Unless there are talks on the core issue of Kashmir, the dialogue process cannot move forward," he said.

He said that headway on the Kashmir issue would lead to "automatic progress" on the other matters as well.

"If they (prime ministers of India and Pakistan) want to move forward... Modi is visiting Pakistan next year and they have full one year before that to take Kashmir-specific measures and pay complete attention to the core issue. Other issues between the two countries will get settled automatically," he said.