NEW DELHI :
Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik is preparing the ground for talks with the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) even as the Valley witnessed a complete shutdown on Monday on the third death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
The preparations for the talks are also being made against the backdrop of the ongoing Amarnath Yatra. The initiative is likely to be reciprocated by the senior leaders of the Hurriyat who believe that dialogue is the only way forward.
“We (Hurriyat) have discussed holding talks with the Centre based on the principles of (former Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee of Jamhooriyat, Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat. Violence in the Valley should end. Dialogue is the only way forward. Vajpayee has shown us the way and the Centre should move in that direction and hold talks on the principles espoused by him," said APHC leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
However, the sensitive security situation in Kashmir, where elections could be held in the winter, according to the Election Commission of India, does not bode well for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre.
“We are against the Centre’s decision to cause inconvenience to the very people of the state by such measures of shutdowns. You can’t win over people this way," Farooq said.
The Hurriyat leader said that though “no back channel talks" were taking place, the Hurriyat would “gladly welcome" any initiative of talks by the government.
The Hurriyat leadership is, however, yet to hear from the Centre about a dialogue to resolve the situation in the Valley. Malik had announced late last month that the Hurriyat was ready for talks. However, Union home minister Amit Shah had informed the Rajya Sabha last week that the Centre was not going to tolerate any action against the country and would, therefore, not digress from its “no tolerance policy".
Meanwhile, people in the Valley are protesting against the clampdown on civilian vehicular movement and the restriction on trains plying between Banihal and Qazigund. The home ministry has said that the restrictions are temporary and “in the best interests of the pilgrims".
Gyan Varma contributed to the story.