Press Trust of india

Govt ready for talks if Hurriyat agrees: Rajnath

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‘No problem in any dialogue with Pakistan but it has to stop promoting terrorism first’

New Delhi, May 26 Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said the government was ready to hold dialogue with the Hurriyat Conference leadership if the separatists come forward for talks.

Singh, however, made it clear that so far there has been no indication from the Hurriyat that it was ready for peace talks with the government.

“I have already said that we are ready for dialogue with all stakeholders in Kashmir. If Hurriyat comes forward for talks, we don’t mind talking to them. Whoever wants to talk with us, we are ready for talks,” he told a TV channel here.

On whether there was any indication from the separatists leadership for peace dialogue with the government, Singh said, “There has been no indication so far.”

The government’s Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma is holding talks with a cross-section of people in Jammu and Kashmir, the Home Minister said.

Singh’s comments came days after the government had announced suspension of operations against the militants in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramazan that began on May 17.

Past attempts to initiate dialogue with the Hurriyat had failed after the separatists amalgam demanded declaration of Kashmir as “disputed” and involvement of Pakistan in the dialogue.

Home Minister also said even if Pakistan comes for a dialogue, we are ready for it.

“There is no problem in any dialogue with Pakistan; it is our neighbour but Pakistan has to stop promoting terrorism first,” the Home Minister said.

On ceasefire violations at the Jammu and Kashmir border, Singh said that Pakistan “doesn’t want Muslims in Kashmir to have a peaceful month of Ramazan.”

Singh also refuted reports of confusion of the Central government over its Kashmir policy.

“There is no confusion about our Kashmir policy,” he said, adding that they want to end the cycle of violence. “But we believe that Kashmir and Kashmiris both are our own. We want to win their hearts. Suspension of operations was one of the measures towards this aim,” he said.

 Welcoming HM’s statement, CM says separatists shouldn’t waste opportunity

Srinagar/Jammu, May 26: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today welcomed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s reported statement that the Centre was ready to hold talks with the separatists in the Valley, expressing hope that the separatists would display maturity so that the opportunity is not wasted.

Speaking at a programme to mark four years of the NDA government in Delhi, the Union Home Minister told a TV channel that India is ready to talk to the Hurriyat Conference if they are ready for a dialogue.

“If Hurriyat is ready to talk, we have no problem, we are ready to talk to anyone. Even if Pakistan comes for a dialogue, we are ready for it,” Singh said.

Mehbooba welcomed Singh’s assertion that the Centre is ready to talk to every stakeholder including Hurriyat Conference if it comes to table.

“It is a welcome step to initiate dialogue and reconciliation in the state,” the Chief Minister said.

“Given the positive outcome from the ground on the Ramazan ceasefire, the peace constituency in the country and the state should feel encouraged to start the much-needed process of peaceful engagement with all stakeholders in the state,” she said.

“A peaceful engagement among all the stakeholders in the state is urgently needed to get Jammu and Kashmir out of the unending cycle of violence and provide its people, a secure, prosperous and peaceful future,” the Chief Minister said.

Mehbooba also said parties and groups like Hurriyat Conference should seize the opportunity and show their responsibility towards the people of the state by “displaying the much-needed maturity so that the opportunity is not wasted”.

The Chief Minister said she has reiterated it time and again that dialogue is the only way forward for resolving issues as violence has lost its relevance in the contemporary world besides taking a heavy toll of the people and the societies.

She said even arch-rival nations like the US, North Korea and South Korea ultimately had to take to table to iron out their mutual issues.

PDP vice-president Mohammad Sartaj Madni also hailed the Home Minister’s statement and said soon after the Centre’s announcement of suspending anti-militancy operations during the holy month of Ramazan, a process has begun with New Delhi pursuing several other measures of reconciliation and confidence-building.

“Jammu and Kashmir is likely to witness a promising phase of peace and development as a prelude to dispute resolution,” he said.

“New Delhi and Islamabad should realize the importance of reconciliation and dialogue if they want to partner the global agenda of growth, development and cooperation and want the people of the sub-continent to come out of cold war situation obtaining here for long,” the PDP leader said.

On May 16, the Home Ministry had said that government forces will not launch any operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramazan.

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