Postpone talks with the Hurriyat

If the Indian government’s political objective is to strengthen the hands of the pro-negotiation moderates, then postponing the talks is the correct way to go about it.

Some parties deserve pooping

Predictably, the Indian government has decided it will not allow the methodical, cold-blooded slaughter of Kashmiri villagers by jihadis to come in the way of having an exclusive meeting with those who sympathise with them. (Sympathise with the terrorists, that is.) It is a sign of desperation, we are told, that caused the jihadis to undertake such brazen acts. Abandoning talks with the Hurriyat, we are told, will only play into their hands. So let’s just ignore the killings and use the talks to give the Hurriyat, in the words of the Moderate Mirwaiz, “some concrete concessions to keep the momentum and the credibility of the process going”. To accept this line of thinking is to be blinded by a bogus pragmatism.

Regardless of the crocodile’s tears it has been compelled to shed, the Hurriyat’s power base arises from the jihadi groups. It is not merely an apologist, but in reality, the representative of terrorists. Nothing in recent years, ‘peace processes’ notwithstanding, has changed this. On the contrary, the ‘peace process’ has given the Hurriyat a degree of international legitimacy in places such as Washington. Mirwaiz & Co are determined to be seen as sole representatives of the Kashmiri people. Hence their chameleon-like positions on round table talks: they refused to participate in the first one, then announced one of their own, and now dismissed them as a “crowd that only makes noise”.

Postponing the talks in the face of such a flagrant act of terrorism will put the spotlight squarely on the Hurriyat. While it is reasonable to accept that the terrorist attacks were carried out by those opposed to the Hurriyat’s participation in talks, that is a problem for the Hurriyat and its ‘boys’ to sort out between themselves. India should be ready to talk to them when they have sorted out their internal disagreements. And should these disagreements be settled in favour of the segments opposed to talks, then well, the Indian security forces have their task cut out. If the political objective is to strengthen the hands of the pro-negotiation moderates, then postponing the talks is the correct way to go about it.

If, as is likely, Dr Manmohan Singh decides to go ahead with the talks, he will find himself under pressure to deliver some “credible concessions” to the Hurriyat to strengthen their hand. Regardless of intervening mechanics, he will have rewarded the terrorists for the mass slaughter of innocent villagers. The talks must be postponed. If they are held, India must not allow the Hurriyat to walk out with a prize.

3 thoughts on “Postpone talks with the Hurriyat”

  1. Nitin,

    Unfortunately this “peace mongering” is not limited to left and UPA.

    A.B. Vajpayye and BJP for all its rhetoric about nationalism and security, conceded the strategic ground in Agra to Musharraf (most porbably for political reasons)when he was more or less a pariah in international community.*

    Basic problem in India is that security (or economic for that matter) consideration are based on platitudes and superficial rhetoric than cold and dispassionate analysis.

    *Ironically I am a BJP supporter


  2. That was a very painful and dispassionate analysis gaurav :). truth hurts. it really does. but unfortunately any political party has to declare its committment to “socialist” thinking before it can be registered by the Election commission. so no wonder we are saddled with the same nuts whether its UPA or NDA in power

  3. Based on frequent visits by NSA Narayanan to Pakistan and Saudi, I actually think PM and his advisors already have a formulation on J&K (my guess would be, into probably three or four provinces with lose control over some). They are meeting with various parties to firm up the formulation and find agreement. I won’t be surprised if Manmohan makes an announcement when he visits Pakistan in few months beyound Siachen pullout, which I think will be promptly be occupied by the enemy within a year or two. Mass killings, especially in J&K, is not going to slow down peace-at-any-cost mindset of current (and, as Gaurav points out, previous) government.

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