Srinagar: BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Satuday said the Centre's interlocutor for Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma has the mandate to talk to everyone including the separatists.
"Whosoever will come forward, he (Sharma) can talk to him. He has that mandate.... You should ask this to the Hurriyat whether they are ready to talk," Madhav told reporters here when asked whether the interlocutor would hold dialogue with the separatists.
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Asked whether the interlocutor would also talk to Pakistan, the BJP leader said "this time, the announcement has been made that Sharma would talk with all groups in Jammu and Kashmir”.
He said the Centre had announced that talks will be held with those who are willing and so it appointed the interlocutor.
"The Home minister (Rajnath Singh) cannot talk every time and that is why the government of India appointed the representative and he will talk with all groups and leaders of J-K as a representative of the government of India," Madhav said.
Asked if there were any conditions for talks with those who are "outside the mainstream and do not accept the Constitution", he replied, "We want the whole population and sub-sections of J-K to become mainstream".
On former Union home minister P Chidambaram's suggestion on autonomy, Madhav alleged that the Kashmiri people and the whole country "are bearing the brunt of the mistakes" that were committed by Chidambaram and his party during their government.
"We do not need this advice. The present government would seek advice from well wishers of J-K and would act definitely in future. We do not need advice from Chidambaram," he retorted.
Meanwhile, senior state BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said that while the interlocutor is free to talk to everyone, including Hurriyat, there can be no dialogue with those wielding the gun.
He said the state government wanted the dialogue to start soon and everyone should come forward and place their point of view.
"Whoever carries a gun in his hand, it is no use to talk to him. Otherwise, the interlocutor is free to talk to everyone," Singh told reporters.
When asked whether Hurriyat was a stakeholder and if the interlocutor would talk to the separatists, he said, “Definitely. We have not said no to anyone”. “Anyone can talk. But you must remember that when Union home minister (Rajnath Singh) came here, (Chief Minister) Mehbooba (Mufti) wrote a letter to Hurriyat to come forward to talk. If we were not ready to talk to them, such a letter would not have gone out.
"They also shut their doors to the Parliamentary delegation. But, we believe this is a good opportunity and everyone should come forward for peace and prosperity of J-K and for the future of its youth,” he said.
He was referring to the visit of a few members of a Parliamentary delegation to the residence of Syed Ali Shah Geelani in September 2016. Geelani had refused to meet the members of the delegation.
On whether a formal invitation would go to the separatists, the deputy chief minister said "the interlocutor has been fully empowered to talk to anyone and he will decide it. The state government has no role in it”.
He said BJP has had a consistent stand from the beginning on dialogue. “We had said that talks was the only way forward and had mentioned it prominently in the agenda of alliance (the common minimum programme between coalition partners – the PDP and the BJP)," he said.
"... We had also said that talks would be held in a way they were held in (former Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s time. "So, it was clear that with whom the talks will be held," he said.
The BJP leader noted that in the past some people from the separatist camp were eliminated when they expressed desire to talk.
But, "the time is appropriate” now for the dialogue, he added.
Asked about the NIA investigation against some separatist leaders and its impact on the talks, Singh said "the NIA is an autonomous body, so it has its own mandate".
Published Date: Oct 28, 2017 08:27 pm | Updated Date: Oct 28, 2017 08:27 pm