India

Omar Abdullah hits out at Centre over joining Afghan talks with Taliban in Russia

If participation in talks with Taliban was acceptable, 'why not non-official dialogue with non-mainstream stake holders in J&K?', he asked.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, on Friday hit out at the Centre over India's participation at a 'non-official' level in Afghan talks with the Taliban in Russia. (Photo: File | PTI)

New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, on Friday hit out at the Centre over India's participation at a 'non-official' level in Afghan talks with the Taliban in Russia.

Taking to Twitter, Abdullah questioned the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government as to why India cannot hold a dialogue with 'non-mainstream stake holders' with regard with the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

"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 stake holders in J&K? Why not a 'non-official' dialogue centered around J&K's eroded autonomy & its restoration?", he wrote.

On Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs headed by Sushma Swaraj confirmed the participation and clarified that involvement 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.

Defence 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 "Hurriyats 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.

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