In a statement, All Parties Hurriyat Conference spokesman GA Gulzar has said it will be an exercise in futility to hold bilateral talks unless India accepted Kashmir as a dispute

Days after responding positively to Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s offer for talks for peace in Kashmir, and then calling the offer a “farce”, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) of hardliner separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani took yet another turn on the issue on Tuesday. The APHC rejected the offer and announced that “any talks would be a futile exercise unless India first accepts Kashmir as a dispute”.

In a statement from Srinagar, APHC spokesman GA Gulzar said the “exemplary sacrifices” made by the Kashmiri youth had not been offered for any political adjustment within the Indian Constitution but for the fulfilment of achieving right to self-determination.

He strongly rejected any proposal for “entering into a bilateral dialogue process with India”.

Gulzar said the Kashmir dispute was “above the Indian Constitution” and the only acceptable solution to this vexed issue lay in the compliance of the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir.

Elaborating the “crystal clear stand of All Parties Hurriyat Conference”, the spokesperson said the five-point formula presented by the Hurriyat Conference in 2010 provided a baseline for any dialogue with India. The spokesperson further clarified that this formula laid down the criterion that unless India accepted Kashmir as a dispute, it would be an exercise in futility to hold bilateral talks with India.

Gulzar said India “suffers from arrogance of power so its leadership is hell bent to issue declarations to kill the people of Kashmir by tagging them as stone-pelters”.

Political observers in J&K feel the APHC had toed the line of Pakistan on the Kashmir issue by attaching such pre-condition for talks.

The APHC rejection of the talks offer comes a day after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti reiterated that separatists should not lose the opportunity for dialogue that would end the bloodbath in Kashmir.

Lok Sabha Member and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah had told the separatists not to enter into any dialogue as they would gain nothing out of it.