‘No talks with separatists anytime soon’

Delhi: The government would not be initiating talks with the Hurriyat anytime soon as the Home Ministry feels talks with separatists would not yield any results, a senior official was quoted as saying by a national news channel in Delhi. “What can they deliver as the situation in Kashmir is beyond their control now,” the official said.
According to the official, neither Pakistan nor militants operating in the Kashmir Valley listen to the separatists, so talks with them would not be productive.
Separatists have been pitching that the centre should initiate talks with them, like former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In 2000, talks were initiated with the Hizbul, but did not yield desired results.
“Talks have to be done within framework of constitution with separatists agreeing that Kashmir is integral part of India,” a senior Cabinet Secretariat officer emphasised.
According to him, even Governor Satya Pal Malik stressed that the change in the atmosphere in the Valley is so much that even the Hurriyat is ready for talks.
Officials in the Home Ministry state that the Hurriyat only represents anti-India sentiment but have no say or control over the people in Jammu and Kashmir. “This Lok Sabha elections they gave boycott call but people came out and voted in all five phases of election,” explains an officer.
In the parliamentary elections, the voting turnout was 72.19 per cent in Jammu, 70.2 per cent in Udhampur, 8.75 per cent in Anantnag, 14.8 percent in Srinagar, 35 per cent in Baramullah and 64 per cent in Ladakh.
The centre is also not keen to initiate talks as they feel separatist leaders in the Valley have been cornered not only by the government but also by Pakistan, the officer says. “They have been marginalised by Pakistan as well, as even Pakistan gives more weightage to terror outfits than moderates.”
Moreover, officials say the centre feels policies being pursued by the Modi government are getting them results as the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a lot of improvement in last six months. Terror-related violence has declined 28 per cent and even local recruitment has come down 40 per cent; elimination of terrorists has gone up by 22 per cent.
According to the Home Ministry, even infiltration from across the border has reduced by 43 per cent.
“Due to concerted and synergised efforts of security forces, the security situation in the state has witnessed an improvement in the first half of this year over the corresponding period of 2018. Net infiltration has reduced by 43 per cent,” MoS (Home) Nityanand Rai informed Lok Sabha.

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