Suddenly, there is elation and expectation in Kashmir’s ruling circles. First came a message from the Centre that it won’t do anything that goes against the general sentiments in the restive Valley. Then, an exhortation from Pakistan’s army for political and diplomatic means to resolve the Kashmir issue.
India has not responded to Pakistan’s General Qamar Javed Bajwa, but militant outfits in the Valley are apprehensive about a secret track II between the two countries. Lashker-e-Toiba said on September 13—a day after Union home minister Rajnath Singh ended his four-day Jammu and Kashmir visit—that India must evacuate from Kashmir “be it track-2 or track-3”.
General Bajwa’s statement is “very important”, according to moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. “We need to see what policy the government of India adopts now—whether the approach is military or political,” he tells Outlook. Previously, when the Hurriyat Conference was talking with the Atal Behari Vajpayee regime, there was also dialogue on between New Delhi and Islamabad, he recalls. “We had reached no solution level but a process was going on. That is missing this time.”
In contrast to Mirwaiz, who didn’t find any significance in the home minister’s visit, the pro-India political parties see the visit as new beginning and New Delhi’s approach towards Kashmir. PDP president and chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is happy about the reassurance from Rajnath. She believes his promise will be a balm for the people who were apprehending that the Narendra Modi regime will do away with the special status Jammu and Kashmir has been enjoying since 1952.
Till the other day, pro-India political parties in Kashmir were fearing that reported...