‘Hurriyat welcome to have dialogue, but without preconditions’
Srinagar: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Ram Madhav arrived in Srinagar on Thursday and from the airport drove straight to the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, where he held a meeting with state BJP leaders at about 11am.
“During the meeting, Madhav ji praised the police for doing a commendable job against militants in Kashmir,” Member of Legislative Council and BJP leader Mohammad Yousuf Sofi, who was present in the meeting, told Kashmir Reader.
“Madhav ji said the policemen were spilling their blood and were dying for their motherland India. He said the time has come that they should be given the status of army soldiers, as they are getting martyred for the country,” Sofi said.
Madhav said at the meeting that “Operation All Out” against militants will continue with full force, Sofi said. “He said if the local militants want to surrender, they can. However, if somebody carrying a weapon will challenge the state, he will be wiped out,” Sofi said, adding, “The general secretary made it clear that development can only be achieved if there is peace.”
The meeting at Nirmal Singh’s residence was attended by the BJP’s ministers, leaders and office bearers.
Madhav also spoke on Articles 370 and 35A, a BJP leader who attended the meeting said. “He (Madhav) said that Article 370 will not be touched, since it was in the Agenda of Alliance (AoA),” the BJP leader said. “On 35A he said the BJP has nothing to do with it, since the petitioner (who challenged the Article) was unknown to the party. He also said it was up to the Supreme Court to decide about the fate of 35A.”
The two-hour meeting between Madhav and party leaders concluded at 1pm. After the meeting was over, Madhav told the media that the Hurriyat was welcome to have a dialogue with the government, provided they do not attach preconditions.
“They (Hurriyat) are welcome to come and have a dialogue with the state government as well as the central government,” Madhav told reporters. ““We are open for dialogue but the question should be asked to those who don’t want to be part of dialogue,” he said.
“We are ready to talk to everybody who wants to come and have a dialogue without any preconditions,” he said.
Later, Madhav met Governor NN Vohra, Director General of Police SP Vaid, Kashmir Inspector General of Police Muneer Khan, and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
“He will stay in Kashmir for the night. Tomorrow he will fly to Jammu,” a BJP leader said.