India and Pakistan Dialogue Continues: Will Kashmir Be Issue of Discussion?

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Srinagar, June 22: A day before Foreign Secretary level talks between arch rivals India and Pakistan, the chief minister of Indian administered Kashmir Omar Abdullah Thursday expressed hope that the Kashmir will be an issue during the India-Pakistan talks.

“It is heartening that India and Pakistan dialogue is continuing. We hope that Kashmir matters during the foreign secretary level talks of the two countries to be held in Pakistan capital from tomorrow,” Omar told media here.

He said no breakthrough can be expected from tomorrow’s meeting between Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries. “However, it gives hope that the two countries will continue to engage to resolve all their outstanding issues,” he said.

He also said the election is not the solution to the Kashmir issue. “It (Kashmir issue) cannot be resolved through Panchayat (local bodies) polls,” he said.

“While successful conduct of the Panchayat election in the region is a significant step in the direction of empowering grass root representatives of the people, but it will not change the importance of the settlement of political issues of Kashmir. These will continue to loom the large till sorted out politically across the table through a sustained dialogue process”, he said.

“The interaction between the Interlocutors appointed by the Indian government and various shades of opinion and sustained Indo-Pak talks are important means to address the political issues of Kashmir politically”, he said and expressed the hope that the Interlocutors would engage the separatists in the process of dialogue and finalize their recommendations for Indian Government to act upon.