The home minister had said that it was because of such perception that things (in Kashmir) are not moving ahead.
Srinagar: Separatist leaders in J&K on Friday refuted Union home minister Rajnath Singh’s claim that the government had last year offered unconditional dialogue with separatists to end the stalemate in the state last year but “their doors were shut”.
“To put the record straight the truth as all of Kashmir knows is that there never was any offer of ‘unconditional’ talk at any point by this Govt. On the contrary all effort by this Govt has been towards a military solution with the view to integrate Kashmir and even do away with its special status,” chief Muslim cleric and senior separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq wrote on Twitter.
Separatist patriarch Syed Ali Shah Geelani also contested the minister’s claim and said, “The government never officially invited us and now claims we rejected it (talks offer)”.
Mr Singh had on Thursday while replying to a debate in the Rajya Sabha on the proclamation of imposition of President’s Rule in J&K said that if separatists in Kashmir had agreed to talk to an all-party delegation that went to meet them last year, perhaps the government could have found some or the other way to resolve the “stalemate in the Valley”.
He had regretted that the “doors of separatists were shut”. The home minister had said that it was because of such perception that things (in Kashmir) are not moving ahead.
He had said, “A perception was being created that the BJP doesn’t want to talk to Hurriyat. And then we asked people to go there (Kashmir) and have talks with them (Hurriyat). And when an all-party delegation went there to talk, the doors were shut for them.” He further said that he had also assured former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti when her party was in power in J&K with an alliance with the BJP that the Centre was willing for an “unconditional talk to end the stalemate” in Kashmir. “If they (separatists) had agreed to talk, perhaps we could have found some or the other way (to resolve the conflict). I had told the then CM Mehbooba Mufti that if they are willing to talk, our doors are also open, unconditionally,” Mr. Singh had claimed.