BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday said the Centre’s pointsman for a dialogue with all parties concerned in Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, has the government’s mandate to talk to everyone, including separatist leaders if they come forward. “He (Sharma) will talk to all groups who want to talk,” Madhav told reporters in Srinagar, where the BJP is holding its state-level working committee meet. “Whoever comes forward can talk to him (Sharma) — he has that mandate,” the senior BJP leader said.
Asked whether the interlocutor will talk to the Hurriyat leadership, Madhav said the question should be posed to the separatist leadership if they are ready to talk. Replying to a question about any conditions for a dialogue with those “outside the mainstream, and who do not accept the Indian Constitution”, Madhav said that the government wants “the whole population of Jammu and Kashmir to become mainstream”.
Madhav said the appointment of Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, is the continuation of the dialogue process started by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. “The Home Minister cannot talk every time – that’s why a representative was appointed,” he said. “He will talk to all leaders and groups of Jammu and Kashmir as a representative of the Government of India”.
Asked whether a dialogue would also be initiated with Pakistan, as was done under then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Madhav did not give a straight answer. He said, “This time, the announcement has been made that Dineshwar Sharma would talk with all groups of Jammu and Kashmir”. Madhav is presiding over the BJP state-level working committee meeting.