India to resume talks with Hurriyat leadership on Kashmir

Pakistan News 0 Comment 2

NEW DELHI: India on Monday named a former chief of domestic intelligence to lead talks on Kashmir issue, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi moves to defuse tension that has simmered in Indian-held Kashmir since July 2016.

More than 90 civilians have died in protests sparked after Indian security forces killed a separatist leader Burhan Wani last year in the state, ruled by Modi’s Hindu nationalist party in a power-sharing arrangement with a regional party.

A former director of India’s Intelligence Bureau, Dineshwar Sharma, will hold talks with groups ranging from elected representatives to political parties and other organisations, Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters.

“As a representative of the government of India, Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand the legitimate aspirations of the people in Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh said.

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Modi’s government, which has long advocated a tough stance toward a decades-long insurgency in the Himalayan region, has so far shunned talks with its main separatist alliance, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), in the wake of the protests.

Asked if Sharma would talk to the separatists, Singh said he would be free to “talk to whoever he wants to”.

In July, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested seven Hurriyat members on charges of allegedly receiving funds from Pakistan-based militant groups to wage attacks. The Hurriyat is an umbrella group of political and religious groups fighting for Kashmir’s secession from India.

The state’s former chief minister, Omar Abdullah, welcomed the news as a victory over those advocating the use of force to tackle the insurgency but warned the scope of the talks would be key to their success.

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“One can’t get everything so, for now, we’ll take what we can get,” he said on social network Twitter. “More important than the person is the mandate and absence of pre-conditions.”

Since their independence from Britain in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which each claims in full but rules only in part.

The post India to resume talks with Hurriyat leadership on Kashmir appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Source: Tribune News | India to resume talks with Hurriyat leadership on Kashmir

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