New Delhi: There is no proposal from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti seeking a dialogue with Pakistan for bringing peace in the state, the government informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Union minister of state for home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said the government has a clear and consistent position that it desires "normal neighbourly" relations with Pakistan and is committed to addressing all outstanding issues bilaterally and peacefully in accordance with the Simla Agreement and the Lahore declaration.
In a written reply to a question by Shiromani Akali Dal member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa on whether the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir has recently asked the central government to talk to Pakistan for peace in the state, Ahir said: "No such proposal has been received from the state government".
The minister said any meaningful dialogue with Pakistan can be held only in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence. "Onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere," he said.
The reply by the Centre has the potential of creating a controversy in the state as the Chief Minister, as well as her party, have been claiming to have asked the Centre to hold a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan.
The Central government had on Tuesday told Lok Sabha that there is no proposal to scrap Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Ahir gave the statement while replying to a written question from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ashwini Kumar. "There is currently no such proposal under consideration of the government," Ahir said.
Kumar had asked whether the government was committed to scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution. He had also asked about the present status of Article 370 and the procedure for scrapping it. Ahir denied in his one-line reply.