Indicating that the time was ripe for dialogue in Jammu & Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik made a loud public statement that the separatist Hurriyat leaders were ready for talks.
India has repeatedly underscored its position that terror and talks cannot go hand in hand.
His remarks come after the recent comments of Hurriyat chief Mizwaiz Umar Farooq, who urged India and Pakistan to begin dialogues that have been stalled since the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri.
Speaking at an event in Srinagar, the Governor made the statement in the presence of Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar and Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh.
Satya Pal Malik replaced NN Vohra as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year, when the state was already under Governor’s Rule.
Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had said the Hurriyat leaders were ready for talks with the government. Reiterating what he said last month after the BJP’s massive election victory, he said: “With such massive mandate, it is the responsibility of the central government to take forward the political process in the state and initiate all possible measures to put an end to the cycle of violence in the state”.
In March, when the Election Commission announced dates for the national elections, it had ruled out holding polls simultaneously in Jammu and Kashmir. The state government, he said, had advised against it in view of the law and order situation.
The announcement made weeks after the suicide attack in Pulwama, in which 40 soldiers died had angered political parties in Jammu and Kashmir who alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre was not keen on initiating the democratic process in the state.
Last month, the commission indicated that it has received a green signal from the government regarding elections and the dates would be announced later this year.