Prof Bhat rules out differences among separatists over talks with GoI

Srinagar:
Former Hurriyat (M) chairman and the conglomerate’s executive committee member, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Tuesday said that his willingness to meet Government of India (GoI) interlocutor, Dineshwar Sharma, doesn’t betray any differences within the separatist camp. He said that the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) was also in favor of the talks.

Senior Hurriyat (M) leader and chairman of Muslim Conference, Bhat said that “ dialogue isn’t a forbidden fruit for anyone of us.” He said the JRL may choose to meet anyone and “I may choose to meet anyone else”, but the fact is that “in principle all of us want a dialogue on Kashmir issue.”

To a question that JRL comprising Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik has ruled out any scope of dialogue with Sharma, Bhat said: “They may choose to meet someone. In principle all of us want dialogue. Talks and talks with a purpose are a way forward. My suggestion is we can’t do anything unless we talk.”

Asked if he has recently met Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma, as reported in some sections of media, Bhat told Rising Kashmir, “First there is no problem in meeting. Second, if I meet him, I won’t hide it. I will reveal…I will reveal my heart. I owe it to my people.”
Hurriyat (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in his reaction, told Rising Kashmir, that Prof Bhat should have abided by the JRLs decision over talks with Dineshwar Sharma. “I don’t know about the meeting. Prof Saheb didn’t inform me. If the newspaper reports are correct Prof Saheb should have abided by the Forum’s decision on it as far as the stand of Hurriyat Conference is concerned which believes in sincere and result oriented dialogue as a means of conflict resolution of Kashmir dispute. The talks have to include the three parties India, Pakistan and most importantly people of Jammu and Kashmir whose will and aspirations have to be addressed.”
“A process that is not aimed at this is futile and will yield nothing substantial on ground or bring peace in the region. It is an attempt to buy time and continue with status quo.”
When contacted to clear the air over his meeting with Bhat, Sharma however said that he doesn’t want to be part of any controversy. “…Why do you people always talk about controversies?’’
However Bhat said he would reveal at an “appropriate time” if he has met Sharma. “I will reveal it at an appropriate time neither before nor after. I will reveal everything at the exact time.”
Asked if Sharma reaches out to JRL in the future and they refuse to meet, Bhat however said, “I don’t believe in hypothetical conversations. I don’t know about JRL. But if Sharma comes we will discuss Kashmir….”