Talks with Hurriyat will depend on their willingness: Ram Madhav
The BJP general secretary said Dineshwar Sharma will talk to those who come forward. The Hurriyat had boycotted earlier talks with interlocutors appointed by the Centre.india Updated: Oct 28, 2017 22:43 IST
The Centre’s special representative to Kashmir will talk to all stakeholders who come forward, BJP general secretary and its Kashmir in-charge, Ram Madhav told reporters in Srinagar on Saturday.
Madhav was responding to queries on whether Dineshwar Sharma, the former Intelligence Bureau chief who was appointed as the Centre’s representative to lead the dialogue in the insurgency-hit state, would talk to separatist leaders.
“He has been given a mandate to talk to whoever he wants to on behalf of the central government. But the question is whether the Hurriyat is willing to talk,” Madhav said, putting the ball in separatists’ court.
Sharma, on his part, had said that “For a substantive dialogue, I will need to talk to everybody.”
However, the Hurriyat leadership, which had boycotted talks with Centre’s interlocutors in 2010, has so far not responded to the appointment of Sharma.
Sharma is the latest in a long line of Kashmir interlocutors appointed by successive governments to hold dialogues to end the three-decade-old bloody insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier governments had appointed current state governor N N Vohra and a team of three people comprising academic Radha Kumar, civil servant M M Ansari and the late journalist Dileep Padgaonkar.
The Narendra Modi government’s hopes are now pinned on Sharma to not only help stem the violence but also end the feeling of alienation among Kashmiri youths.
Jammu and Kashmir has been on the boil since the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter in July last year. More than 100 civilians lost their lives and thousand others sustained serious pellet injuries.
Recently, security forces’ attempts to eliminate militants have been met with stiff resistance from locals, who have tried to disrupt such operations by pelting stones at police and army personnel, prompting retaliation from the soldiers.
Madhav, who is on a two-day visit to Kashmir ahead of the party’s state units’ meeting in Srinagar on October 28, also sought to parry criticism from opposition parties.
Blaming former Congress governments for the crisis in Kashmir, he said, “At this point, we want no suggestions from Congress. We are talking to people who matter and don’t need unnecessary advice from Mr P Chidambaram.”
Chidambaram has said that the appointment of an interlocutor was a diversionary tactic and stressed on the need to examine the demand for greater autonomy in Kashmir.