Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) supremo Shabir Ahmad Shah on Saturday squarely blamed the Government of India for the collapse of the dialogue process between his party and K.C. Pant, Centre's interlocutor on Kashmir, four months ago.
In an interview to The Indian Express, Shabir Shah accused the Centre of vishwas ghaat with the Kashmiris by reneging on its promise of creating a viable atmosphere for pushing ahead the dialogue process.
"The Government of India has tacitly pulled out of dialogue process by breaching the trust of Kashmiris,'' he said, adding that on one hand the government talks of creating conducive atmosphere for talks while on the other hand, there has been no let-up in crackdowns and extra-Judaical killings in the state.
"The peace process and state terrorism cannot go hand in hand. It is a big contradiction,'' Shah said. He complained that the Central government not only extended the disturbed Act in Jammu there was no relief for prisoners in jails also.
He said the DFP was feeling vindicated when Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee invited Pakistani military ruler Gen Parvez Musharraf for talks at Agra, but the zeal for pushing ahead the dialogue process was lost. ``It was on our suggestion that the PM met Gen Musharraf but then the joy was short-lived. The Centre was back to the status quo and it was at this time that we decided to dissociated from talks with Mr Pant,'' he said. ``It is a futile process to talk for the sake of talking.''
``The Centre is in fact taking a U-turn by refusing to accept Pakistan as a third party. It was against the modalities worked out by our party,'' he said.
Spelling out DPF's conditions for talks with K C Pant, Shah said it was understood that New Delhi should engage Kashmiris' representatives and Islamabad, and also allow the two parties to talk. ``After the three parties could have held deliberations, three working groups were to be formulated to do the paper and ground work to carry forward the dialogue process,'' he said. ``But GOI did not allow this thing to happen and went back to its rigid postering,'' the senior separatist leader said.
Defending his decision of accepting the Centre's invitation to enter into a dialogue with K C Pant, Shah said by doing so he had conveyed to the world that Kashmiri separatists had been for peaceful solution of Kashmir. "Besides we also threw the ball in New Delhi's court and debunked its claim that we (Kashmiri separatists) were the mouthpiece of another country," Shah said.
Published in IndianExpress