PDP asks interlocutors to involve separatists in talks

Opposition Peoples Democratic Party asked the Centre`s interlocutors on J&K to engage the separatists in the dialogue process describing them as important stakeholders in the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Updated: Feb 24, 2011, 18:36 PM IST

Srinagar: Opposition Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) on Thursday asked the Centre`s interlocutors on Jammu
and Kashmir to engage the separatists in the dialogue process
describing them as important stakeholders in the resolution of
the Kashmir issue.

"Separatists are important stakeholders in the
process. So their engagement in the dialogue process is a must
to take the process to its logical end", PDP president
Mehbooba Mufti told three-member panel of interlocutors, who
called on her at her residence.

Underlining the need to involve all stakeholders in
the process of solving Kashmir issue, Mehbooba said
separatists must be engaged in the dialogue process and their
concerns should be addressed.

With the interlocutors preparing their report, she
cautioned that any unilateral roadmap would fail to reach a
lasting resolution of the problem.

"Keeping in view the complexity and diversity of this
state, there is need to involve all sections, regions and
sub-regions in the process of dialogue to arrive at an
acceptable and workable solution", the PDP president said.

Putting emphasis on the need for involving Pakistan in
the dialogue process, she said, "Involvement of Pakistan in
the talks is a must because without taking the neighboring
country on board, dialogue process would be meaningless."

Mehbooba said unilateral or bilateral decisions taken
by the previous regimes, from time to time, had proved
counter-productive, so there is need to take comprehensive and
holistic view of the whole issue so as to solve this problem
once for all.

She demanded that "sense of siege that gripped Jammu
and Kashmir in the wake of partition should be removed to help
this region to regain its past premier position and to harness
its inherent potential as a business centre as it was before

She claimed that the socio-economic growth of the
state has been restricted after the partition due to plugging
of all routes connecting J&K with rest of the world.

"There is need to open all traditional routes through
Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh to make it a vibrant economy. We
have to rediscover and revive our cultural and logistical
channels of growth that have influenced all the three regions
of the state for centuries", she said.

Mehbooba said the natural resources of the state and
their present exploitation needed to be revisited.
She demanded renegotiation of "biased agreements" with
the various agencies and the State should be allowed to
exploit its hydroelectric potential to transfer this region
into a greatest economy of the sub-continent.

"This could open up new areas of hope and opportunity
to youth of the state who are at present facing worst
unemployment crisis," she said.