With uncertainty looming large over the participation of some of the political parties in the coming Pacnchayat and Urban Local Bodies elections the dialogue process in Kashmir looks very vague. The process till date has not been able to produce the expected results from the day the idea was conceived. Never it has been that a participating section has expressed positivity except the government. Resentment remains at large. Everyone who had any say has been advocating for talks with stake-holders whenever there has been a political process conceived for brining in normalcy in the terror-struck Valley of Kashmir. Last year Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was in Valley for the three days as part of his four-day tour to know the ground reality by talking to various delegates including political parties and civil society members. We had a Congress fact finding team headed by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Congress team too met various delegations and is expected to visit Kashmir Valley on September 16. On the surface it looks as if ruling and opposition parties are really sincere to bring in peace. If that is the agenda then it is good. And if it is not then the end result everyone knows. Stalemate continues. We also had a civil society group headed by former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, whom BJP leadership had disowned. Before all these missions of peace we had interlocutors headed by a former journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, who is no more now. There is no doubt the dialogue process too has travelled a long distance and yet remained inconclusive. Even the former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti after meeting Home Minister Rajnath Singh astutely acknowledged about the involvement of external forces for creating trouble in the State. Even during Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure there was a sincere effort to solve the Kashmir puzzle by inviting Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf. This has been acknowledged by Musharraf himself when he complimented the Indian Prime Minister for the gracious initiative to invite him for the resumption of dialogue between the two countries after a hiatus of nearly two years. Now where is the glitch that neither peace nor the talks have progressed any further?
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