JAMMU: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday opposed a dialogue with the Hurriyat Conference, claiming that any talks with the separatists at this stage would be counter-productive and a retrograde step.
"The Joint Resistance Leadership (a body of separatists groups) should publicly acknowledge the undisputable status of Jammu and Kashmir and it being an integral part of India. They should also commit their loyalty to Constitution of India and seek talks only under its ambit," state BJP spokesperson Anil Gupta said in a statement.
Gupta said any talks with the JRL or the Hurriyat at this stage without them publicly accepting these pre-conditions would be "counter-productive and a retrograde step".
The comments come after Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called for a tripartite talk between the Kashmiri leadership, New Delhi and Islamabad for resolution of all issues, including Kashmir. Governor Satya Pal Malik had said on Saturday that the Hurriyat had softened its stand and were ready for talks after he took charge of the state last August.
Gupta said none of the Hurriyat leaders had signalled any change in their stance and mere appeals for talks with the Centre was no indicator of any change in their mindset, adding that the separatist leaders do not represent the majority of Kashmiris.
"Hurriyat is the perpetrator of most of the problems in Kashmir. And with the inflow of hawala money controlled, they are now strapped of cash and thus asking for talks," he said, alleging that the Hurriyat leaders continued to promote separatism.
The BJP leader claimed that initiating talks would be a huge setback to the ongoing operations against terror and the terror-support network, of which he said the Hurriyat was a "major culprit".
"In 2016, the same leadership had spurned the offer of talks within the ambit of Constitution because, at that time, they enjoyed the backing and support of Pakistan," Gupta said. "The present offer of talks is a mere ruse and time-gaining exercise to regroup and reorganise."
During his Eid ul-Fitr sermon earlier this month, the Mizwaiz had sought confidence-building measures between India and Pakistan that could facilitate the revival of talks between the two countries.