Roundtable is not an eye wash

By K.N. Pandita – National press recently reported National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan making some utterances on Kashmir situation. This was in connection with Prime Minister’s proposed second roundtable in Srinagar.

Mr. Narayanan was asked about the rumoured boycott of the APHC representatives, He is reported to have said that “the APHC is not holding a veto for the success or the failure of Kashmir roundtable.”

This appears a hollow statement apart from being a contradiction in terms. What Narayanan intended to convey was that the government did not attach significance to the participation of the Hurriyat leadership in the proposed roundtable?

The purpose of the roundtable is to find an amicable solution to the tangle. The APHC is the group which is at the forefront of dissidents and separatists. If the government feels that the Hurriyat is irrelevant, why then call a roundtable? And if it is relevant, why diminish its role by making inconsiderate statements? Why play a game of self-deception?

This is the reason why Hurriyat has been insisting on meeting with and talking to top political leadership only. The bureaucratic pyramid is incapable of gauging the mood of the people with whom it has to talk.

What makes Narayanan project Hurriyat as inconsequential group? Perhaps he is one of those who try to bring happy tidings to the Prime Minister that terror and militancy are eliminated in the valley and that the atmosphere has changed.

In regard to Kashmir insurgency, the line invariably adopted by the Indian intelligence chapter has been to bring false and fabricated reports to the political leadership in order to protect their self interests.

The Chief Minister of J&K has categorically stated that militancy remains in place in Kashmir. The Army Chief has also reported that terrorist training camps in PoK continue to be functional. The Defence Minister of India has even conveyed to Pakistan that it sees no let up in infiltration and subversion through foreign elements in Kashmir.

Government of India has flown in the American top General to Uri, Tangdhar and other places on the sensitive LoC, and there are reports of streamlining the surveillance of border with more sophisticated devices. Militants continue to strike their targets, the latest being the Speaker of the Assembly.

How then in the background of this situation does the National Security Chief come out with a dubious statement that exposes the hypocrisy of the Indian government? All that one can say is that Hurriyat is right in not trusting the Indian side in regard to any sincerity in their talks on Kashmir.

New Delhi is a prisoner of a network of sycophants in its intelligence organization, The Prime Minister ought to dismantle the whole structure of sycophancy and in its place induct sincere, patriotic and realistic cadres who work and think in national and not in individual interests.

It is clear that these cadres have been trying to play one group against the other and one dissident leader against the other. This may be fair and acceptable in diplomacy of wider canvas but when the question of millions of innocent lives is involved on both sides of the line from wanton destruction, spineless diplomacy must yield place to sincere efforts and humanistic approach.

New Delhi knows that it is the innocent Kashmir who is getting killed. The irony is that the militants are still to understand that. As long as they act on the advice of their external and internal mentors, the loss of precious lives may not be halted.

We would, therefore, expect PMO to restrain its wayward intelligence echelons from issuing irresponsible statements because that is going to do much harm to the Kashmir cause. We need men of vision, foresight and tolerance to handle the roundtables and other meetings. Moreover, when the government invites a person or a group for talks, due respect is to be shown to him or them. That is integral to the protocol of negotiations, which the government must never fail to observe.

The Hurriyat is the prime party to the whole issue. It has to be persuaded gently and through force of logic to come to the table and talk. If the Hurriyat wants to hold one to one talks with the Prime Minister, there should be no difficulty in accepting the condition. A roundtable with the Prime Minister has to be meaningful; it is not an eye wash.

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