After the failure of the all-party delegation to make any headway in Kashmir because of the refusal of the separatists to talk to the team, it is back to square one in the state. Following the setback, the Centre apparently considered pursuing a new track by playing hardball with the Hurriyat conference. But this hasn’t found favour with the opposition parties. They continue to insist on meeting all stakeholders even if the effort is yet to prove successful. It is unlikely that this amiable approach will work because the Hurriyat appears to have decided to use the unrest to raise the stakes.
In New Delhi’s view, this indicates a transition from the demand for a still undefined “azadi” to a regressive Wahabi theocracy. It is difficult to believe that hardliners have seriously come to the conclusion that the moment has come for them to attain their dream of a sovereign Kashmir. The internal security will have to be left to the police. Srinagar should begin to look like any other Indian city.