New Delhi initiates "secret dialogue" to rope in Kashmiri separatists

12:02, October 18, 2009      

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New Delhi has initiated efforts to involve separatists in Indian-controlled Kashmir for talks through "quiet diplomacy", a Srinagar based local daily newspaper Rising Kashmir Saturday reported.

The newspaper said the New Delhi's emissary and convener of Kashmir Committee Ashok Bhan has met several separatist leaders including moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chairman Yasin Malik to gauge their mood for the talks about the proposed dialogue.

Quoting its sources the newspaper said Bhan held a series of meetings with the separatist leaders on Thursday and conveyed them New Delhi's seriousness for the dialogue process.

The report also quoted Bhan as saying that dialogue process has to be started for it was a must to find an out of box solution to Kashmir, which is engulfed with the conflict.

The separatist leaders too have confirmed their meetings with Bhan, the newspaper said.

The development follows Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram's statement on Wednesday during his visit to the region that New Delhi is open to talk to the political parties with diverse opinions in the region.

He said that a "quiet dialogue" and "quite diplomacy" will go on to workout a solution.

Meanwhile, the chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq Friday, asked New Delhi to take some confidence building measures (CBMs) before initiating dialogue with them.

"India should completely demilitarize the cities, towns and villages of Kashmir, Disturbed area act and other draconian laws should be repealed, International humanitarian organizations should be allowed to visit Kashmir, Human rights violations should be stopped immediately, political prisoners should be released, cross LoC trade and interaction should be allowed as confidence building measures before dialogue is initiated," Mirwaiz said while addressing a Friday congregation at historical shrine of Charar-i-Sharief in Budgam district.

Over the past two months the media reports suggested that New Delhi will be engaging separatists in the region for a dialogue.

New Delhi and separatists in the region have held several rounds of talks in the past as well to reach a solution. However, no tangible breakthrough has been achieved.

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