August 2000 News

Tripartite talks vital

6 August 2000
The Hindu
B. Muralidhar Reddy

Islamabad: The burden of Mr. Salahuddin's statement was that Kashmir is a disputed issue and there are three parties involved - India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris. There can be no solution to the problem without the involvement of the three parties. 'Talks held by ignoring any of the three parties cannot make any headway. Such two-sided talks have always failed,' he said. On the failure of two of the commanders to show up for the second round of discussions in Srinagar on Saturday, the explanation of Hizbul leaders here was that 'perhaps they were unwell'. Right from the day the Indian Government extended an invitation for talks in response to the ceasefire, the Hizbul has been insisting that a dialogue on substantive issues on Kashmir must be outside the purview of the Constitution and involve Pakistan and the All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC). The Hizbul has taken the view that it would not be a party to the dialogue. It did not miss the opportunity to make it clear that the first ever contact between India and the Hizbul commanders in 11 years was meant to discuss the limited issue of modalities of implementation of ceasefire. There is a remarkable convergence in the position of the Hizbul and the Pakistan Government in the post-ceasefire scenario. Pakistan has also been insisting that the dialogue could be meaningful only if it, along with the APHC, was involved.


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