Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government are ready to hold dialogues with every stakeholder, including separatists, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Ram Madhav said on Thursday.
Madhav during a visit to Jammu and Kashmir told reporters that from the outset the government had been stating that its door was open for all the stakeholders of the state. “They are welcome to come and have a dialogue with the state government as well as the central government. We are open to dialogue,” the BJP leader said.
The BJP is an ally in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in the state. Madhav said question should be asked to those who did not want to take part in the dialogue. His statement comes less than a week after separatist leadership – Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik– announced that they never opposed a “sincere, meaningful and result-oriented dialogue” among the “three parties” to the Kashmir dispute.
They had said the dialogue should fulfill the “will and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.” When his attention was drawn to the statement, Madhav said: “If there is any such statement (by the separatists) it will be taken note of by the appropriate people.”
In the same breath, he went on to add, “We are ready to talk to everybody whosoever wants to have a dialogue without any preconditions.” The latest peace overture also comes amid arrest of many separatist leaders by the NIA over allegations of terror funding.
Madhav hailed the “efforts” of the coalition partners –the BJP and the PDP—and the security forces in combating militancy. Stating that the coalition government in the state was “working very well” focusing on the development, the BJP leader said the militancy was in decline.
Kashmir has been witnessing vigorous anti-insurgency operations by security forces in the past few months particularly after increase in militant activities following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July last year.
Around 140 militants have been killed this year after security forces drew up a hit-list of top militant commanders and started going after them. Madhav said that the government would like to see total normalcy restored in the state. For that to happen, he said, opposition parties should also cooperate without getting involved in the “political game of provocations.”
“As far as sporadic incidents of firing from across the border and current sporadic incidents of violence in the valley, the recalcitrant neighbor that we have will continue to try and foment trouble here but our security forces will ensure that it will not be allowed to succeed,” he said.
Pointing out that people of the state had suffered enough, the BJP leader said in the next three years focus would be on the development of the state. “We are committed to give good governance to the people. When we say Kashmir is ours it means Kashmiris are our own people,” he said.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on Kashmir, during his Independence Day speech, would be the way forward for the government. On Rohingya issue, he said it would be handled keeping the security concerns in mind.
“….As for the humanitarian angle, we also have to take care of humanitarian concerns and human rights of 125 crore Indians. That is why I said keeping in mind security, right to life and humanitarian concerns of 125 crore Indians, an appropriate decision will be taken on the issue,” he added.
There are an estimated 40,000 Rohingya Muslims in India, many of whom have taken refuge in Jammu and Kashmir. Home minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday termed them illegal immigrants, stressing they are not refugees who had applied for asylum in India.
Madhav said that the normalcy will be restored in Kashmir very soon if the opposition political parties cooperate with them. “We are sure that the normalcy will be restored in Kashmir very soon if the opposition will not engage in political game of provocation and cooperate with us,” he said, adding that as far as the attacks in Kashmir and on Loc is concerned, the security forces will ensure that the game played will not be succeed.
“People of Kashmir have suffered enough and now it is the time they get focus of development. We will together (central and state government) focus on the development of Kashmir in next three years of our tenure,” he said, the government is committed to give good governance to the people.
Invoking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech of Aug 15, Madhav said, “Kashmir’s future is not in bullets but in love and affection, which would be our government’s way forward.”
“When we say Kashmir is ours it also means that Kashmiris are our own people. We will focus to fulfill the aspirations of people,” he said.
When asked about dialogue with the pro-freedom camp, the senior BJP leader said that government is open to have dialogue with anyone. “Our government is open for dialogue with all the stakeholders but without any pre-conditions. We welcome those who want to have dialogue with the state or central government,” he said.
Replying to a query about the settlement of Rohingya refugees in the country, Madhav said that the issue is right now before the SC. “Government of India has already said that this issue will be handled keeping security situation in mind. The issue will be dealt with the security perspective also,” he said.
He said that as far as the humanitarian angel is concerned, the government have to take care of the human rights and humanitarian concerns of 124 crore Indian’s also. “An appropriate step will be taken after taking care of the humanitarian concerns of 124 crore Indian’s,” he said.
Meanwhile, Madhav said that the people of Kashmir are giving good response to the Modi led government. “Today’s meeting with the workers was aimed to strengthen the party. We will talk to BJP ministers as well as the PDP ministers and will ask them to fulfill the aspirations of our workers,” he said. Rejecting the reports of reshuffle of BJP ministers, Madhav said that no talks are ongoing over this issue.