Separatist leaders in Kashmir on Tuesday rejected Centre's dialogue offer through its special representative Dineshwar Sharma, saying any such process will undermine their internationally acknowledged struggle.
"For any Kashmiri to be part of this futile exercise (dialogue) will only undermine our internationally acknowledged legitimate and just struggle, nourished by the blood of martyrs and great sacrifices and hardships rendered by the masses," a joint statement by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, said.
"Unless the Kashmir dispute is understood and addressed in its historical context and in the background of international commitments made over it, lasting peace can neither be achieved in J&K nor in the subcontinent," they said.
While referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's outright dismissal of former home minister P Chidambaram's suggestion of restoration of autonomy to the J&K, the separatists leaders said, "If government of India even rejects the demand of its co-political party for restoration of autonomy guaranteed by its own constitution, how will New Delhi address Kashmiris' political aspiration of right to self-determination."
They claimed that appointment of Sharma is "nothing more than a tactic to buy time adopted under international pressure and regional compulsions and due to the abysmal failure of the state policy of military repression upon the people of Kashmir."
Justifying their stand, they said, "Sharma's assertion that he is coming to the Valley with the directive from the government of India to restore peace rather than addressing the dispute limits the scope of any engagement with him and makes it an exercise in futility."
This is the first statement from the separatists rejecting the offer ever since Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on October 23 announced the appointment of former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Sharma as a special representative to initiate and carry forward a dialogue with all the stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan has already dismissed New Delhi's move to appoint an interlocutor to understand the legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir, saying no interaction or dialogue would carry any weight without the participation of the Hurriyat Conference.
Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir based supreme commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Syed Salahuddin had last week attached three conditions for talks with India.
"India should accept Kashmir as a disputed territory, accept that there are three parties to the dispute and hold meaningful and result-oriented dialogue with Hurriyat leadership in the light of UN resolutions for resolving the Kashmir issue as per wishes and aspirations of people of Jammu Kashmir," he had said.
DH News Service