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Talk of talks and grim realities of Kashmir

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Srinagar: The recent statements ranging from State Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav, it seems that talks with separatists would be a reality very soon, but the ground realities are showing a contrary picture. In the midst of talks, there are anti-militancy operations going on. In the villages protesters are still thrashed and sprayed with pellets. There are no signs that the Central Government has made up its mind to deal Kashmir as a political problem and not see it through the prism of law and order.

Yashwant Sinha-led concerned citizens group in the most recent statement has given tongue to the fears and apprehensions of common Kashmiris. While they have said that much hope has been generated by the statements of Prime Minister, the Home Minister and BJP leadership on a positive change in policy towards Kashmiri citizens. They are demanding what the people of Kashmir are also demanding. They want after the huge statements there should be a follow-up. Yashwant Sinha led group in a statement has said that the government should “operationalize the well intentioned statements that have so eloquently been made, it is now necessary for the government to clearly indentify the stakeholders, announce the name of an authorized interlocutor, set a time-frame for the beginning and conduct of dialogue process and start it as soon as possible”.

They have appealed the Central Government to act quickly and address the sentiments of people of Jammu and Kashmir without any further delay. The atmosphere on the ground suggests that there is no change in the hard policy of the government. When Hizb Commander Abdul Qayoom Najar was killed at Uri, it was first tweeted by Ram Madhav who has been giving statements about peace and reconciliation for Kashmir.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq while showing willingness to enter into dialogue with New Delhi has said that the government should talk to all stakeholders including Pakistan and the representatives of all the regions and sub-regions of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir kingdom.

It is baffling that in the recent interview to a news agency, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that she has confidence of dialogue to take place with separatists and she also said that she could see that the peace and dignity will return to Jammu and Kashmir very soon. Is she hoping against hope or is she privy to the developments at the top in the Central Government to address Kashmir dispute.

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