Days after newly elected Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed declared that separatists would be engaged in dialogue, senior Hurriyat (M) leader Professor Abdul Gani Bhat said that they are ready to talk with India. “We will respond positively if any offer of dialogue comes from New Delhi. We will talk to both India and Pakistan and there is nothing wrong in dialogue that will prove beneficial for the people of Kashmir,” Bhat said adding that releasing political prisoners and other things are immaterial issues for them as their focus is only the Kashmir issue.
He said that government can do whatever it wants to do. “In coming days Hurriyat leaders will meet to chalk out future strategy. We never shy away from dialogue and are ready to hold talks with New Delhi,” he said.
Responding to a question, Bhat said Hurriyat is active and is not acting as a mute spectator. “We are representing the sentiments of people and doing our job in the best interest of the people of Kashmir. Don’t expect Hurriyat to be present on the streets and corners. We are giving our best and are finding ways and means to persuade India, Pakistan and International community to resolve long pending Kashmir issue,” he said.
When asked whether he welcomed the statement of Mufti Muhammad Sayeed who directed police to initiate process of releasing political prisoners, Bhat said that Mufti is his friend but he does not want to comment on anything that Mufti did or does. “Let him (Mufti) do his own work and we our own. Half-hearted measures are not going to help any way. We want constructive engagement with New Delhi and Islamabad so that Kashmir issue gets resolved sooner or later,” he said. (CNS)