SRINAGAR: New Delhi’s participation in Russia-backed dialogue on Afghanistan in Moscow earlier this month has evoked criticism in Kashmir Valley where the BJP-led Centre has been censured for rejecting talks with the Hurriyat Conference and militants outfits.

“New Delhi must answer if it can talk to the Taliban, why not to militants outfits who are sacrificing their lives only to see Kashmir issue getting resolved. Before caring about Afghanistan, the BJP must address the sufferings of people of J&K,” independent legislator from north Kashmir, Engineer Rashid, said.

On November 9, a delegation of diplomats from New Delhi participated in a dialogue on Afghanistan which was held in Moscow. A foreign ministry spokesperson had said 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 participation of the Government of Afghanistan. Our participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level," the MEA spokesman had said.

Rashid said New Delhi accuses various “forces of resistance” including Taliban of being Islamic “radicals”, “New Delhi calls them a threat to world peace but on the other hand engages itself with them and calls the talks non-official,” he said.

Badri Raina, a political commentator said in an article it was “curious” that the “nationalist” BJP-led government has endorsed the legitimacy of the “Islamist Taliban” in Afghanistan. “but fight shy of talking to the Kashmiri dissidents at home.”

“Let us not be deluded that Dineshwar Mishra’s sincere peregrinations in the state amount to any intent or declaration of the Centre’s will to sit on the same table with either the Hurriyat or even the Hizbul Mujahideen,” Raina wrote in his blog that was widely shared on social media.

Earlier, former chief minister Omar Abdullah had censured the Prime Minister Narendra Modi over its refusal to hold talks with the Hurriyat and Islamabad on Kashmir issue.

“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 Twitter.

Professor Noor A Baba, noted political scientist and Dean of Social Science at the Central University of Kashmir, however, ruled out the possibility of any dialogue on Kashmir with the general elections less than a year away.

“Since the election campaign of the BJP is woven around the issues of nationalism and Hindu pride where Pakistan is seen as an enemy, they (BJP-led Centre) may have shelved the proposal (of talks) at least till the elections are over,” Professor Baba said.