SRINAGAR: The Hurriyat Conference’s refusal to hold talks with the newly appointed interlocutor and former Intelligence Bureau chief, Dineshwar Sharma, has cast a dark shadow on New Delhi’s new dialogue initiative on Kashmir.

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party as well as the Opposition National Conference and Congress have been calling for sustained dialogue on Kashmir issue but the political analysts here are terming the new initiative as “meaningless” without the involvement of Pakistan.

“Pakistan is a party to the dispute. If New Delhi says that the only unresolved issue is the part of Kashmir under the occupation of the neighbouring country, even then there have to be talks with that country,” Prof Noor A Baba, a political scientist at the Central University of Kashmir, said.

“Any dialogue process will be meaningless if it is rigid and such a process is unlikely to produce any substantial results if Pakistan is not involved,” Prof Baba said, referring to the MoS in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh’s recent remarks that talks will be held within the ambit of Indian Constitution.

In a statement yesterday, the powerful Hurriyat trio of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik said the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma is “nothing more than a tactic to buy time, adopted under international pressure and regional compulsions, and due to abysmal failure of the state policy of military repression upon people of Kashmir.”

“What it inherently entails from all participants to dialogue is the basic acknowledgment that there is a dispute that has to be resolved. But the government of India continuously refuses to accept this basic premise and the reality on the ground,” they said.

Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on Congress leader and former home minister P Chidambaram’s suggestion calling for restoration of greater autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, the Hurriyat trio said New Delhi has rejected the demand of its “co-political party for restoration of autonomy guaranteed by its own constitution and calling it a betrayal with soldiers and unacceptable.”

“How will such a dispensation in New Delhi address or engage with the Kashmiris’ political will and aspirations of self-determination for which the people have been relentlessly struggling and sacrificing for the past 70 years,” they said.

The PDP is, however, optimistic that the new dialogue process will yield results, “From its total refusal to engage with various shades of political opinion in Kashmir to the appointment of Mr Sharma as interlocutor who has been given free hand to hold talks with even the Hurriyat, the Centre has come a long way. It is the beginning of a process and Pakistan will be involved at some stage,” a senior PDP leader said, wishing anonymity.