Jammu and Kashmir Deputy CM says Hurriyat is stakeholder, rules out talks with militants

The BJP is holding its first-ever state working committee meeting in Srinagar on Sunday while senior J&K BJP leader and state Deputy CM Nirmal Singh ruled out any dialogue with militants.

Published: 28th October 2017 11:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th October 2017 11:48 PM   |  A+A-

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh. (Photo courtesy: Twitter@NirmalSinghBJP)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The BJP is holding its first-ever state working committee meeting in Srinagar on Sunday while a senior J&K BJP leader and State Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said separatist Hurriyat Conference is a stakeholder in talks and ruled out any dialogue with militants.

The BJP is holding first ever State working committee meeting in Srinagar tomorrow.

It is first time that the saffron party is holding the State working committee meeting in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

“For the first time in 70 years, the representatives of party’s working committee of the State will meet in Srinagar tomorrow. The meeting will also be attended by national general secretary Ram Madhav and party vice president Avinash Khanna,” Deputy Chief Minister, Nirmal Singh told reporters here today.

He said political situation of the State, governance and other important issues would be discussed threadbare during the meeting.

Singh said future strategy of the State BJP would be chalked out during the meeting.

Asked whether the meeting is being held to increase party foothold in the Valley, he said, “The working committee meeting has been held in every district of the State. Last time it was held in Rajouri and then it was decided to hold next meeting in Srinagar. The state working meeting is being held after every three months”.

Supporting Government of India’s move of appointing interlocutor on Kashmir for holding sustained dialogue with stakeholders in the State, the DyCM said, “We believe situation in the State is conducive for talks”.

“Time is appropriate for talks. The Valley has come out of over four months long turmoil last year and militancy, which had risen, has been controlled now,” he said.

Asked whether he considers separatist Hurriyat Conference as a stakeholder in talks,  Singh said, “Yes, definitely”.

He said when Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Kashmir last year, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti wrote a letter to Hurriyat and invited them for talks.

“Had our intention been not to talk to Hurriyat, then the letter would not have gone to them. But they did not come forward for talks,” he said.

The deputy chief minister said members of All Parties delegation had also gone to meet the Hurriyat leaders last year but they closed the doors.

“Anybody can talk. We have not closed doors for anybody. The interlocutor has the right to talk to anybody”.

Singh said they believe it is the good opportunity for holding talks and restoring peace and tranquillity in the State.

“We want dialogue should start soon. Everybody should come forward for talks,” he said.

Singh, however, ruled out any talks with militants. “Talks cannot be held with those, who have picked up gun”.

Asserting that dialogue was the only option, he said interlocutor appointed by central government has the authority to talk to anybody.

He said the BJP had consistent stand that dialogue was the only option.

“In fact in  Agenda of Alliance (AoA) framed by PDP and BJP for forming a coalition government in the State, we have mentioned it (talks) prominently. It (AoA) states that J&K government will create a conducive atmosphere for talks with all stakeholders," Singh said”.

Three top separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have remained tight-lipped over the appointment of former IB director Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor on Kashmir. The leaders have not issued any statement and refused to talk to media in this regard.



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