Jammu and Kashmir: Talking Shop
         Date: 17-Jun-2018
 
With multiple power centres in Pakistan, the idea of holding peace talks is nothing short of hitting the wall
 
Khalid Jehangir
 
 
The body of a BSF jawan who was killed in cross border firing from Pakistan during the Ramzan
ceasefire days is being taken away 
 
Mainstream politicians in Jammu & Kashmir, especially the Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference, have been advocating talks with Pakistan. These parties want the Centre to break the ice and enter into parleys with the neighbouring country.
 
The Centre’s stand on talks is clear that Pakistan has to stop abetting terrorists and separatists in J&K, then only dialogue process can move ahead.
 
The people who are advocating dialogue with Pakistan need to bear in mind that Pakistan is the most unstable country in the world and is grappling with a number of issues.
 
There are four power centres in Pakistan—political establishment, army, judiciary and the terrorists—whom should the Centre talk to?
 
The Kashmiri leaders need to bear in mind that the Centre has already taken the first step by expressing its willingness to talk to separatist leaders in Kashmir and Pakistan. Announcing Ramzan ceasefire in Kashmir was the first step towards establishing peace. It was followed by truce on borders and the Line of Control in J&K. People at the helm of affairs in New Delhi have dropped enough hints about them being ready. Now the ball is in the court of Pakistan and the separatists.
 
Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, he invited the Pakistan Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi. Later, he made a surprise visit to Lahore and extended a hand of friendship towards Pakistan.
 
But within a few days, the JeM terrorists attacked the airbase at Pathankot and repulsed the Prime Minister’s move.
Leaders in Kashmir need to understand that India cannot thrust peace upon Pakistan. It has to come forward and prove its sincerity. To begin with, the Pakistan leadership has to decide who will talk? The Prime Minister, who would be elected, or the army chief or the heads of terrorist organisations, who seem to be emerging as the most powerful men in Pakistan.
 
It has been observed that whenever political leadership takes any initiative, the Pakistan Army wastes no time to scuttle it.
 
The Mumbai attack mastermind and the globally designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed has already been set free by the Pakistan judiciary and he is all set to contest the forthcoming general elections in the country. If he gets the support of the army and the Pakistan spy agency ISI there is every possibility about him being the next leader of Pakistan.
The National Conference and Peoples’ Democratic Party need to understand that Indian leadership cannot talk to terrorists and their mentors who have been abetting terror and are fighting a proxy war against India for the past thirty years.
 
Talks with Pakistan cannot be held till it keeps on abetting terror and the terrorists. It has to stop meddling in J&K and has to understand that J&K belongs to India and no one would be able to snatch it.
 
(The writer is a Kashmir-based freelancer)