‘Kashmir talks without Pakistan, Hurriyat meaningless’

A day after India named a former intelligence chief to lead “sustained dialogue” in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan said the move “did not appear to be sincere and realistic.”

“For any dialogue process to be meaningful and result-oriented, it has to include the three main parties – India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiris,” the Pakistani Foreign Office said in a statement on Tuesday. “Without the participation of the Hurriyet leadership, no interaction or dialogue would carry any weight or meaning.”

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had on Monday announced Dineshwar Sharma’s appointment as the Indian government’s “representative” for a “sustained dialogue” with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir and to “understand the legitimate aspirations of the people.”

Asked if Sharma would hold talks with the Hurriyat Conference, Singh had said that he would have complete independence in deciding who to hold talks with.

The Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson said the designated interlocutor had been entrusted with the task of understanding the “legitimate aspirations” of the Kashmiri people – which in reality had been known for 70 years.

He said the Kashmiri people only aspired for their “right to self-determination.”

The spokesperson said that the need of the hour was to have dialogue for peacefully resolving the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people. “This was imperative for ensuring durable and sustainable peace and stability in South Asia. Pakistan hoped that the international community would play its rightful role in facilitating such an outcome,” he said.

(Featured image:  India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh with former Intelligence Bureau cheif  Dineshwar Sharma after he was appointed as the government’s “representative” for Jammu and Kashmir)

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