Talks between separatists, Delhi ‘last hope’ for PDP

Talks between separatists, Delhi ‘last hope’ for PDP
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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, June 4: With just 10-days left for Eid-ul-Fitr Kashmir based politicians, especially the leaders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, are making desperate attempts to somehow get the separatist leaders on board for holding talks with New Delhi.
Addressing a PDP convention here Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said, “We can’t force you (separatists) or dictate you but we request you to join talks. They (Government of India) have agreed for talks. We have to benefit from this (offer). I appeal all parties to join talks to save J&K.”
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “The ruling PDP knows it very well that if it has to make a comeback then it has to persuade New Delhi and the separatists to break the ice and start talking.”
He said, “The politicians know it very well that if this opportunity is lost then it would be very difficult for them to get the process restarted. This time New Delhi is stating that it’s open for talks but this equation can change anytime.”
A Kashmir watcher said that Bharatiya Janata Party is aware about the fact that separatist leaders in Kashmir won’t hold the talks for the sake of it and they are not the only ones who have to take a decision. “Till date New Delhi has not made the contours of the talks process clear. It has only said that it’s ready to hold parleys. The modalities have not been spelt out.”
He said that there are many hardliners in New Delhi who are against the idea of entering into any sort of parleys with the separatist leaders in Kashmir. “They (hardliners) want GoI to restart the operations against militants in Kashmir after Eid and want the separatists to be ignored. The PDP leaders know if the parleys don’t take palce their party would have to bear the direct consequences of New Delhi’s iron fist approach towards Kashmir,” he added.
A politician said that when PDP entered into an alliance with the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir it was of the opinion that Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government would carry forward Vajpayee’s doctrine but it didn’t happen. “New Delhi during the past four years has maintained that it recognizes only the elected representatives and it has got nothing to do with the separatists. No stone has been left unturned to corner them (separatists),” he said.
“Apparently there is a significant shift in New Delhi’s stand towards Kashmiri separatist leaders. Now it remains to be seen is this just a stunt or Delhi is serious about the talks process,” he said, adding that for the ruling PDP it’s a litmus test but it looks like that time is running out.