Last month, home minister, Rajnath Singh, had said that “If Hurriyat is ready to talk, we’ve no problem.
Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Omar Abdullah, said on Tuesday said that the BJP and its government at the Centre have made “a major and much needed” U-turn on Kashmir.
He said that after telling the nation and the world for four years that Hurriyat Conference is irrelevant, the government as well as the BJP now say that they are willing to hold talks with it to find peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue.
“After spending the last 4 years telling the nation & the world how the Hurriyat was irrelevant in Kashmir now the BJP & its’ Government has made a major & much needed U-turn,” Mr. Abdullah wrote on his micro-blogging site Twitter.
He was reacting to BJP’s national secretary and J&K in-charge Ram Madhav statement that the government has made arrangements to hold a dialogue with all the parties concerned in the Kashmir Valley, including the Hurriyat Conference. Speaking to CNN-News18 earlier during the day on Tuesday, Mr. Madhav had also said that the Centre’s decision to invoke a temporary ceasefire in the Valley during Ramzan was a goodwill gesture but added that it would continue only if militancy ceases. He said, “Earlier, the forces were pursuing a hard-line agenda in the Valley to neutralise terrorists. But, keeping the sacredness of Ramzan, as a gesture of goodwill, the government had asked forces to suspend operations.” He added, “But, if unrest continues then the situation before Ramzan will be restored. ”
Last month, home minister, Rajnath Singh, had said that “If Hurriyat is ready to talk, we’ve no problem. We’re ready to talk to anyone. Even if Pakistan comes for a dialogue, we’re ready for it.” J&K chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, welcomed it saying that a peaceful engagement is urgently needed to get J&K out of violence cycle. She appealed Hurriyat “to display maturity”. However, Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik had said that there is confusion among various functionaries in the government at the Centre.
On May 29, the alliance said that the statements emanating on the issue of holding talks with Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan from New Delhi over the past few days are “unclear and ambiguous”. “While Mr. Rajnath says there should be dialogue with both Kashmir and Pakistan but at the same time he claims both ‘Kashmir and Kashmiri is ours’. Then (minister for external affairs) Ms. (Sushma) Swaraj puts a rider and says no talks with Pakistan unless ‘terror is stopped’. Then (BJP president) Mr. Amit Shah gives a spin to the ceasefire that’s ‘it’s not for militants but people’ while J&K’s DG police had earlier issued a statement that ‘it’s for militants to come back home’”, it said.
The JRL, however, also said if the government “gives clarity on what it wants to talk about and speaks in one language we are ready to join the process”.