Ready for talks with Hurriyat under Constitution: BJP

Ready for talks with Hurriyat under Constitution: BJP

“We are open for talks. Hurriyat leaders are own people, they are the residents of J&K, so they are most welcome to talk to us including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi but within the ambit of Indian constitution,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national vice-president and the J&K affairs in-charge, Avinash Rai Khanna told reporters

Two days after Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik said that Hurriyat leaders were ready for talks with the Center, a senior BJP leader on Monday said talks can be held “only within the ambit of Indian constitution.”

“We are open for talks. Hurriyat leaders are own people, they are the residents of J&K, so they are most welcome to talk to us including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi but within the ambit of Indian constitution,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national vice-president and the J&K affairs in-charge, Avinash Rai Khanna told reporters on the side-lines of a party function in Srinagar.
 
He said Modi was gradually creating a peaceful atmosphere in Kashmir so that “the trust of every single citizen of the state is won.”
 
Khanna’s offer came in response to moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s statement that his amalgam was ready for talks with the Government of India. “Hurriyat has always been in favour of talks as the means of resolution. We have not said anything (new), we have always been saying this,” the Kashmir’s chief cleric said on Sunday.
 
Earlier on Saturday governor Malik said, “The ones (Hurriyat) who turned back Ram Vilas Paswan from their door (in September 2016), are now ready for talks. The stone pelting after Friday prayers is almost over. We do not like it when a youngster dies.”
 
The softening of stand on talks by the Hurriyat, observers say, has come in the wake of National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) clampdown on separatist camp in the recent months. While JKLF chief Yasin Malik has been arrested by the NIA and put behind the bars, Mirwaiz was questioned in New Delhi a few months back by the premier probe agency.
 
Several other second rung separatist leaders have been jailed by the NIA since 2017 in the alleged terror-funding cases.
 
Meanwhile, former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party president on Monday said she was relieved that Hurriyat has “finally” softened it stand on talks with the Centre.
 
Quoting a famous Persian couplet, she tweeted: “Dair aye durust aye (Better later than never). The underlying purpose of PDP-BJP alliance was to facilitate dialogue between GoI & all stakeholders. Tried my best to make it happen in my tenure as CM but relieved that Hurriyat has finally softened their stand (sic).”
 
National Conference (NC) president and Member Parliament Farooq Abdullah also advocated that talks must be held with the Hurriyat. “The governor says Hurriyat has agreed to talks. Then, talks should be held with them,” he told reporters.

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