Talks between India and Kashmiri Separatists Are to Continue

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella alliance of nearly two dozen political separatist groups, have agreed to carry out a continuous dialogue to discuss solutions to Kashmir dispute.

It was the second meeting between the two sides since Singh took power in 2004. The first one took place in September 2005. At that meeting, Singh had promised he would cut Indian troops in the region if violence and guerrilla incursions from Pakistan ceased. But Hurriyat leaders have complained about Indian foot-dragging over this promise.

The talks were held under the shadow of one of the bloodiest massacres of civilians in recent years, after 35 Hindus were killed by militants in Kashmir. Aside from Pakistan, any lasting solution will also have to involve Islamic militant groups who have fought a separatist revolt in Indian Kashmir since 1989.

Palash Kumar, “Indian PM, Kashmir Group Agree on Peace Talks System,” Reuters AlertNet, 3 May 2006, http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/DEL91854.htm