Dialogue can't have a rider, says PDP to BJP

Centre in no mood for talks with separatists

Dialogue can't have  a rider, says PDP to BJP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday said that dialogue can’t have a rider or pre-condition in a democratic set-up.

The statement comes a day after the BJP reiterated the Centre’s stand of having no talks with separatists in Jammu and Kashmir.  “Dissent is the essence of democracy. Exclusion of the voices of dissent is against the spirit of a democratic polity. A lack of inclusive dialogue can only add to frustration and over time, generate rejection and more rebellion,” senior PDP leader and Education Minister Altaf Bukhari told reporters on the sidelines of a party function here.

He said dialogue at all levels needs to be inclusive and can’t be conditional.  “The PDP forged an alliance with the BJP just to initiate talks aimed at resolving the decades-old political uncertainty. But unfortunately, instead of taking such an initiative, we have been made to believe that the Central government has a lackadaisical policy with regard to Kashmir,” the PDP minister said.

Bukhari was reacting to BJP general secretary Ram Madhav’s statement that the Centre was in no mood of having talks with the separatists.

In a post on his official Facebook page, Madhav, who played a key role in forming the BJP and PDP coalition government in 2015, mentioned that the Union government has “categorically” told the Supreme Court that there is no plan to hold any talks with “the separatists and those who are not loyal to India”, said Madhav.

However, Bukhari said, the BJP as a coalition partner of PDP had agreed in principle for the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ calling for engagement with all stakeholders and not a section of people.  “I think good sense will prevail soon and the Central government will take immediate measures which can balm the wounds and address the injured psyche of Kashmiris,” Bukhari added.

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