SRINAGAR: Former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday welcomed the Hurriyat Conference’s willingness to hold talks with the Centre, while the state unit of the BJP said talks should be held but action against separatists should continue simultaneously.
“Dair aye durust aye (better late than never). The underlying purpose of the PDP-BJP alliance was to facilitate dialogue between the GoI & all stakeholders. Tried my best to make it happen in my tenure as CM but relieved that Hurriyat has finally softened their stand,” Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.
She was referring to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik’s recent statement, in which he said that Hurriyat Conference leaders were ready to hold talks with the Central government.
Malik said there was a chance of the situation in the Valley changing as the separatists, who had shut the door on Ram Vilas Paswan in 2016, were now ready for talks with the Central government.
The governor’s statement has led to speculation that talks between separatists and the Centre might be in the offing.
Senior state BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said they were not opposed to talks.
“We are in favour of talks. The talks should be held. There is nothing wrong in talking. Issues are resolved only through dialogue,” he said. “We want that the situation of J&K should improve,” he said.
Gupta, however, said that holding talks with separatists was the prerogative of the Centre.
“What does the Centre want and what is the Centre’s policy,” he said.
The former deputy chief minister said action against separatist leaders should continue.
“It is only the BJP government at the Centre that has gone after them and taken action against them,” he added.