A day after the all-party meeting made a strong pitch for talks with separatists, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan reiterated that the government was ready to talk to all stakeholders. “The government is ready to talk to all stakeholders, be it Hurriyat or somebody else,” he said.
Paswan, who as an Opposition leader in 2010 had met hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani during a similar all-party delegation visit to the Valley, also defended the Hurriyat leader’s act of not meeting four senior Opposition members. Paswan added that the situation in the Valley could have been the reason for it. The minister, whose party LJP is an ally of the NDA, told The Indian Express that “talks should be held with all stakeholders including Hurriyat to resolve the Kashmir issue under the tenets of Constitution.”