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Hurriyat Conference May Hold Talks with Kashmir Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma

After a year-long crackdown on the militants and stone pelters, it was expected that the 26-party front would not want to show any alacrity in grabbing an offer of talks from New Delhi.

Sumit Pande | News18.com

Updated:November 14, 2017, 5:33 PM IST
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Hurriyat Conference May Hold Talks with Kashmir Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma
File photo of Dineshwar Sharma.
New Delhi: After the initial outright rejection of talks, Kashmiri separatist umbrella organisation Hurriyat Conference may finally come to the table with New Delhi-nominated interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma.

This is the initial assessment from within the establishment on Sharma’s return to Delhi from Srinagar earlier this week.

Sharma was in Srinagar to hold the first round of talks with various stakeholders in the Valley.

“There is tremendous pressure on Hurriyat leaders from across the border not to talk with the special representative. So it is not at all surprising that they have decided to give talks a miss this time around,” said a source closely associated with the developments in the valley.

After a year-long crackdown on the militants and stone-pelters, it was expected that the 26-party front would not want to show any alacrity in grabbing an offer of talks from New Delhi.

This is why Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, during his first trip to Srinagar made headway with only mainstream political parties, business and trade representatives.

Hurriyat had totally rejected the proposal to talk with Sharma, calling his appointment an eyewash by the Center to buy more time. Those privy of the recent developments, however, indicate that there have been indirect feelers from the separatists that confidence building measures should be initiated by the government for creating a conducive atmosphere to break the ice.

“Children of some of the top leaders including Syed Salahuddin and Syed Ali Shah Geelani have been arrested by the security agencies. It is possible that the separatist are looking for some quid pro quo before taking a call on the issue,” a highly-placed source said.

Despite repeated attempts, All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Chairman Umar Farooq did not respond to queries from News18.
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