‘Nothing new in Rajnath’s conditional talks offer’

‘Nothing new in Rajnath’s conditional talks offer’
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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, May 27: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has once again said that Government of India is ready for talks with Hurriyat but the talks offer has come with a rider that “Kashmir and Kashmiris are ours and will remain ours. India will never talk to Pakistan on Kashmir.”
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “There is nothing new in Rajnath Singh’s offer. Since the day BJP led NDA government has come into power it has remained firm on its stand that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and no talks can be held with Pakistan over Kashmir.”
He said, “There is a bleak possibility about anyone in separatist camp responding to the dialogue offer which has come from New Delhi with a rider.”
A Kashmir watcher said that many people believe that parleys are the only way out but the talks for the sake of talks are not going to serve any purpose. “New Delhi and Islamabad would have to show flexibility if they want peace to prevail and bloodshed to end. If both the countries remain rigid on their stands then peace looks a far distant dream,” he added.
A politician said, “New Delhi would have to admit that Kashmir is not a law and order problem and there are political dimensions attached to it. The people at the helm cannot ignore these political dimensions. These have to be addressed whenever talks are held.”
A leader of the Opposition National Conference said, “Talks offer is a welcome step but New Delhi should hold unconditional talks with the separatists if it really wants to strike a deal with them. I don’t think that many people would come forward and accept the offer.”
He said that Union Home Minister has even expressed his willingness to talk to Pakistan but he has said that neighbouring country should initiate the process.
“Pakistan making the first move looks difficult as the general elections have been announced there. No political party in Pakistan at this point of time would like show any flexibility vis-à-vis Kashmir as election time is crucial for the Pakistan based political parties,” the politician added.
Another analyst said that BJP led NDA government knows it very well that “internal crisis” within Pakistan and no stable government being at place there have put the neighbouring country on the “weak wicket.” “Pakistan won’t make any move till the elections are held and the new government is formed there,” he said, adding, “At present relations between India and Pakistan are at its lowest ebb.”