New Delhi names coordination group for talks with APHC
NEW DELHI: Moving ahead on its peace proposal, India has formed a group of officials to coordinate talks with the moderate faction of the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC).
The Coordination Group, as it is called, consists of interlocutor on Jammu and Kashmir NN Vohra, chief of Kashmir Desk in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) AS Dulat, Cabinet Secretary Kamal Pande, Home Secretary N Gopalaswami, Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director KP Singh and Director Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) CD Sahay. The group has been formed to evolve a “focussed approach” to the proposed dialogue with Kashmiri leaders, now scheduled to begin in December, an official said.
After several failed bids, India recently offered to open dialogue with the APHC and named Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani as its point man, thereby involving the “highest political level” in the talks for the first time. The official said the move was actually a follow up to naming Mr Advani for talks with Kashmiri leadership. “The government wants to evolve a focused approach by engaging its top officials,” the official said.
Before constitution the Coordination Group, Mr Advani called two preliminary meetings with top government officials last week. The new group will meet later this week to hold comprehensive discussions on the intended dialogue considering the ground realities, the official said.
Noting that the APHC’s response after the October 22 announcement had been positive, the official said the government understood “realities” before the APHC and expected the alliance to take sometime before the talks could actually begin. “The APHC has said it will evolve a consensus before holding talks. Such an exercise takes time and we are also not in a hurry,” he said. —Iftikhar Gilani