Indo-Pak Dialogue A Farce: Mirwaiz12 July 2011
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Tuesday called the initiation of dialogue process between India and Pakistan as a farce. The Hurriyat leader accused India of “continuosly pursuing the policy of militarism” on ground in Kashmir. “It is unfortunate that on international level India was giving an impression that it is involved in a very serious initiative in Jammu and Kashmir but (actually) it is a farce. It is falsehood. They talk of dialogue with Pakistan and settlement of Kashmir issue but practically on ground they are pursuing the policy of militarism,” Mirwaiz said at his party headquarters in Raj Bagh. “They have changed Kashmir into a police state and it is continuing,” he accused. Foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan met in Islamabad last month for bilateral talks on peace and security including CBMs, Jammu and Kashmir and promotion of friendly exchanges. The foreign secretaries exchanged views on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and “agreed to continue discussions in a purposeful and forward looking manner with the view to finding a peaceful solution by narrowing divergences and building convergences”. Mirwaiz said that after 2008 the “pro-freedom” politicians have been 'denied space'. “After 2008, Jammu and Kashmir government has been involved in a crackdown of people based on political beliefs and it is still continuing. Not only are people been arrested but there is a political crackdown on pro-freedom leadership,” he said. “The Centre appointed interlocutors say that India is serious in engaging people and the solution can’t be found till ‘separatists’ are involved but at the same time the crackdown of pro-freedom leadership continues. These are double standards,” he accused. Mirwaiz said that Hurriyat has “always supported” dialogue between India and Pakistan. “Even we have ourselves participated in the dialogue but things will change only when there is a change on ground,” he said. “Till political, religious, civil and human rights of people are not restored, no dialogue bewteen India and Pakistan will yield anything,” Mirwaiz said. 'They are strapping our hands and legs and then saying that we have scored a goal against you,' he said. He wanted India to restrict the involvement of military leadership in political process. “Instead of reducing the involvement of army and forces in Kashmir, it has increased. Apart from political leadership, now military leadership are involved in political-talks, they are deciding which law will stay and which will not. Police officers are coming out with statements how to deal with political leaders. This is unacceptable,” Mirwaiz added.