Dialogue with Hurriyat, for What?
The entire State of Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and will remain an integral part of India. If some people living there, being Musalmans, think that their safety lies in going away to Pakistan they can do whatever they like, but they have no right to partition the State or carry away with them any portion of the territory which is a part of Indian Union. A mistaken anti-national attitude on this fundamental issue led to partition of India in 1947 consequent upon the claims of the Muslim League. Now that India is politically free, we cannot and must not repeat this folly and allow any portion of our territory to go out of India because of the separatist tendencies of some sections of the people swayed by selfish, bigoted or communal motives.”
– Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee in a statement “Stop Abdullah’s Anti-India Activities—Mookerjee’s Words of Warning” published in ‘Organiser Weekly’, issue dated May 4, 1953, P. 4
W hen the holy Amarnath Yatra around the corner and, Home Minister Shri Amit Shah was about to visit Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) to review the Yatra preparations and security situation, Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Farooq again raised the ‘dialogue’ bogey, claiming it to be the only way to resolve the Kashmir problem. The Governor of Jammu & Kashmir only made a reference to it in his press conference to explain the changing circumstances in the Valley. Some political leaders and media houses misrepresented it as a response to the Hurriyat’s call with the obvious intent. Fortunately, the Union Government did not give much importance to such speculations. For the first time in the last thirty years, the separatists did not give a call for Bandh when any Union Minister is visiting the Valley. Is it a change of heart for the Hurriyat? Why is Hurriyat looking for a dialogue option now? And is there any scope for ‘dialogue’ with the perpetrators of violence? These are the fundamental questions we should address while addressing the issue.
Mirwaiz Farooq, in his ‘dialogue’ proposal, said, “I believe that this issue cannot be resolved by militarily or through confrontation but by dialogue and deliberations.” In the same breath he repeated the old tape, “Pakistani PM Imran Khan’s often repeated offer of dialogue on all issues between India and Pakistan, including on the Kashmir issue, should also be seriously considered as the way forward.” Hurriyat has not changed its stand, and still considers Pakistan as a party to the dialogue process in contrary to the legal and political position of Bharat. As the Governor of J&K had earlier remarked, “The Hurriyat don't even go to the toilet without seeking permission from Pakistan”. Thanks to the aggressive ‘zero tolerance on terrorism’ policy by the Modi Government, both domestically and internationally, the masters of Hurriyat in Pakistan are completely isolated and facing severe economic crisis. In reality, Pakistan is looking for a way out to ‘dialogue’ with Bharat without showing any substantial action either on the front of eliminating terrorists or dismantling the terror infrastructure they have built. Hurriyat is just toeing the line.
We cannot forget the fact that January 19, 2018 Press Release of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had categorically named Hurriyat leaders along with the masterminds of anti-Bharat terror front like Hafeez Saeed and Syed Salahuddin. The charge-sheet filed after the thorough investigation (NIA CASE NO. RC-10/2017/NIA/DLI) clearly states that “the accused persons, i.e. the Hurriyat leaders, the terrorists and the stone-pelters are carrying out terrorist attacks and orchestrating violence, stone-pelting and other subversive and secessionist activities in Jammu & Kashmir ... with the active support, connivance and funding from terrorist organisations based in Pakistan and its agencies”. The reality is that this case and financial curbs have completely shattered the terrorist/separatist ecosystem. This crackdown is another reason for this carrot of dialogue.
During Ramzan ceasefire and around Amarnath Yatra, engage in some form of dialogue and use it for some regrouping to perpetrate violence has been the old strategy used by the Pakistani stooges. They neither hold any ground in the Valley nor represent the true voices of J&K. After the successful conduct of Panchayat polls despite the boycott from Hurriyat and other Valley-centric parties, their empty claims being main stakeholders have been burst.
They are fighting to remain relevant. The best way is to isolate them and neglect their ‘dialogue’ offer. There are many genuine stakeholders in the State of J&K who have not been heard over the years. ‘No compromise on the fundamental issue of complete integration of J&K’, as articulated by the great martyr Dr S P Mookerjee is the cardinal principal we should follow. If we do that, there is nothing to talk with Hurriyat and others who see Bharat through divisive communal lines.