New Delhi, Jan 3: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday informed Rajya Sabha that 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.