SRINAGAR: Ruling PDP in Jammu and Kashmir today said it will press the Centre to hold dialogue with Pakistan and separatists, days after the scrapping of the NSA-level talks between the two countries.
However, its partner BJP said separatists have to stop acting as "agents of Pakistan" and need to join mainstream like Sajjad Lone. PDP chief spokesman Mehboob Beg said that restrictions imposed on separtist leaders in Kashmir, ahead of their proposed meeting with Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz in Delhi, were "routine" and the state government had not issued any direction.
He said the PDP would continue to convince the central government to talk to Pakistan and the separatists. "Unfortunately, Kashmir bears the brunt of any problem in the relations between India and Pakistan. (Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed) Sayeed will continue to convince Delhi to hold dialogue," he said. Beg said the restrictions on the separatist leaders were put by the police as part of the standard practice.
"The restrictions on separatists were routine. The Chief Minister did not know about it. He was in Uri (in north Kashmir for an official function) when he came to know about the restrictions on the movement of separatists. He immediately ordered the DGP to lift the restrictions and release all the separatists," Beg told PTI here.
"It was part of the normal practice. The police thought they will do it because they normally did that. Why should the PDP-led government put restrictions on them?" he said. Asked about the curbs on some separatists in Delhi, Beg said his party was not in an alliance with the BJP at the Centre and cannot interfere in the working of the central government.
"We are not in alliance with the BJP at the Centre. (PDP president) Mehbooba Mufti is not a minister in the Union government. We are in coalition with the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir only and without compromising on our political ideology," he said.
He said Sayeed was very clear in his conviction and commitment to peace and reconciliation. "It is true that this coalition is the alliance of north pole and south pole. We have differences in ideologies but we have to respect the mandate of the people. But let us call a spade a spade, we have to talk (to Pakistan and separatists). There is no lack of conviction and commitment from Sayeed's side on this," he said
"If people want more fruitful steps to be taken, the party should be given a much bigger mandate than what it has at present," he said.