Centre willing to talk on Kashmir, but Hurriyat closed doors: Rajnath Singh
Alienation among the people in JK is due to Congress party’s policies: Jaitley
New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that the Centre was ready to hold talks with Hurriyat leadership but the doors were shut when the all-party delegation went to them.
Singh dismissed the perceptions that the government is not willing to talk to separatists in Kashmir, saying it is because of such perception that things (in the valley) are not moving ahead.
“A perception was being created that 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 all party delegation went there to talk the doors were shut for them,” Singh told the upper house of parliament.
Singh said 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 the valley.
“If they (separatists) had agreed to talk, perhaps we could have found some or the other way (to resolve conflict), I had told the then CM Mehbooba Mufti that if they are willing to talk, our doors are also open, unconditionally.”
In May, last year, Mufti had urged separatists to respond to the Centre’s appeal for talks. Singh had then reportedly said: “If Hurriyat is ready to talk, we have no problem, we are ready to talk to anyone. Even if Pakistan comes for dialogue, we are ready for it”.
Mufti had then welcomed Singh’s assertion that the Centre is ready to talk to every stakeholder including Hurriyat Conference if it comes to the table. “It is a welcome step to initiate dialogue and reconciliation in the state,” the then chief minister said.
Finance Minister ArunJailtey on Thursday maintained in the RajyaSabha that mistakes made by the Congress had led to alienation among people in Kashmir and rejected its charge that the process had started in the last four and half years.
Participating in a discussion on the imposition of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashimr, he asserted that when history gives its verdict on the role of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and that of BJP ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the Congress will feel the pain.
Meanwhile, rebutting the allegations levelled against the BJP-led government by Leader of Opposition GhulamNabi Azad, Union Finance Minister ArunJaitley said it was wrong to say that alienation started in the state in the last four years. He also defended BJP forming alliance with the PDP in the state to run a coalition government.
Jaitley said there “is a history of alienation, there are policies” and noted that assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir for successive years including in 1957, 1962 and 1967 were not fair and Congress had also indulged destabilising governments.
“If elections are held in such manner, it will sow seeds of alienation. The people of the state felt they do not have right to contest polls. This is the politics you did to stay in power,” he said.
Jaitley said people of the Valley still recall that the first “free and fair elections” in the state were held after Morarji Desai became prime minister in 1977. He said the Congress government led by Nehru had committed a series of mistakes in Kashmir.
“You had put all your eggs in one basket,” he said, and added that the Congress government had to change its policy and arrest the National Conference leader Sheikh Abdullah.
He said the Indira-Sheikh Abdullah agreement was reached in 1975 but disagreements cropped up soon.
The minister said that the then state Governor B.K. Nehru refused to play the Centre’s game to destabilise the Farooq Abdullah government in 1984 and stepped down. He said a new governor was appointed and a new government was formed by breaking the National Conference.
Jaitley said Congress again joined hands with Farooq Abdullah in 1986 and ran a government till 1989 which caused “so much alienation which the valley had never seen”.
The minister said the problem of stone-pelting erupted around 2010 after militants and separatists realised that the capacity of the security forces was getting better and their tactics were proving futile. (Web Desk)