Omar tears into Centre for participating in talks with Taliban in Russia

New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday tore in to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and questioned that if New Delhi can participate at a non-official level in the Moscow format meeting on Afghanistan, which will be attended by Taliban delegation, then why can’t it hold a dialogue with “non-mainstream stakeholders’ in regard with the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

Logging on to Twitter, Abdullah said, “If “non-official” participation in a dialogue that includes the Taliban is acceptable to the Modi government why not a “non-official” dialogue with non-mainstream stakeholders in J&K? Why not a “non-official” dialogue centered around J&K’s eroded autonomy & its restoration?.”

On Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs headed by Sushma Swaraj on Thursday confirmed the participation and said, “Our participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level.”

“India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability, and prosperity to the country. India’s consistent policy has been that such efforts should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with the participation of the Government of Afghanistan,” the MEA said.

Defense Expert Rahul Jalali also commented on Abdullah’s tweet and was of the view that the Hurriyat first have to accept to sit on the table for discussion with the government. The expert also asserted that “Hurriyat are not prepared to do so especially after giving a boycott call for Panchayat elections in the state”.

“Of course, Omar Abdullah has a point, but the question is not of non-official dialogue initiated from the side of New Delhi but first Hurriyat have to accept to sit on the table. They first have to show unity within themselves to talk to New Delhi and second they must sit until the issue gets resolved,” he added.