Intro : All of the newspapers of both the regions, Jammu and Kashmir, have supported the view that the talks were the need of the time.
On the issue of cancellation of the NSA level talks, most of the newspapers have blamed Pakistan for the lack of sincerity. A few columnists even have used this incident to compare the tenures of NDA and Congress. Calculations of the effect of the NSA talk cancellation on the Hurriyat Conference have also taken in the media spaces of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
A widely circulated Jammu based daily, Daily Excelsior, ridiculed the demand of Pakistan to include Kashmir in NSA level talks along with assertion of meeting with separatists. “Obviously, Kashmir is among the priorities with India but not the only priority. However, with Pakistan it is. Pakistan’s priority ultimately boils down to India handing over Kashmir to her on a platter because of its Muslim majority forgetting that India is the home to second largest Muslim majority community in the world”, writes Daily Excelsior in its editorial published after the cancellation of talks. In a delusion breaking phrase it asked further, “Was not East Bengal a Muslim majority region? What did Pakistan give it: two million killings and half a million rapes?”
While reminding the irrelevance and non-representative nature of Hurriyat Conference, it has pointed out, “If it (Pakistan) recognises Hurriyats as the true representatives of Kashmir (Valley) then it should also recognise dissident minority groups in PoJK and Gilgit Baltistan as genuine representatives of their areas. Then it should also recognise Gilgit-Baltistan as the part of J&K State as was decreed by the High Court of PoJK”. “The perception on the Indian side that Pakistan despite being a victim of terrorism in not doing enough to rein the terror outfits is not misplaced at all”, writes the editorial of Kashmir Times; a daily with the Valley base. At the same time it also reminded Pakistan of the recent terror attacks of Gurdaspur and Udhampur as the proof of apprehensions of Bharatiya side.
Giving valuable suggestion to Pakistan it writes ahead, “Pakistan must shun its ostrich like distinction between good and bad terrorist, India should show the courage to take on home grown terrorism with as much seriousness as it takes the terror outfits exported from Pakistan.”
On the contrary, Editorial of Kashmir Observer, a Valley based daily, has given the historical reference of the Hurriyat’s meetings with Pakistani side. While giving credit of previous successful talk rounds to Hurriyat, the editorial noted that, “The truth is that the Hurriyat's engagement before every dialogue lends the process an aura of authenticity and purposefulness”. In the short of provoking phrase it adds, “Now nobody in New Delhi seems to care for Hurriyat. This neglect is directly proportional to Hurriyat’s progressive loss of the political weight in Kashmir and the decline of militancy”.
In yet another editorial, it writes, “Modi’s policy on Pakistan and Kashmir is not to move on the resolution of the longstanding issues but to play to the public sentiment in India to help consolidate and perpetuate his hold on power”, while blaming Modi of focusing on “public opinion in India” which is doggedly against any concession on the state.
Meanwhile, unlike former Chief Minister (Omar Abdullah) of J&K whose coalition government (NC plus Congress) had passed a resolution in the State Assembly after Central Government had cancelled the talks in 2104 because of same scenarios, CM this time, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, was convinced with the Central Government’s tackling of the situation.
Arvind (The writer is a researcher at J&K Study Center, New Delhi)