With some of its leaders airing their views on the proposed NSA-level talks with Pakistan, the ruling BJP Friday clarified that it wants discussions with the neighbour on terrorism but it should be delinked with meetings with J&K separatists.
“Agenda for the talks were fixed in Ufa (Russia) in a joint statement and it is on terrorism. It was a victory for India to make Pakistan agree to come to the table to talk on terrorism. But separatists who support terrorism cannot be a part of the atmosphere,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said. Sharma’s response comes a day after senior BJP leader and former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha said the Narendra Modi government was deviating from the Atal Bihari Vajpayee line that states talks and terror cannot go together.
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Though the BJP views Pakistan’s move to invite Hurriyat leaders for a meeting with Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz in New Delhi as an attempt to derail the talks, it wants the government to use its diplomatic channels to get the meeting with the Hurriyat cancelled and go ahead with peace talks.
However, the party leadership is concerned about the confused signals coming from different quarters over the talks, a leader admitted. BJP leaders also said some statements made by party leaders dismissing the Hurriyat meeting with the Pakistani NSA were not in line with the party’s official stand.
“Hurriyat has no role in the talks. The party wants the government to persuade the Pakistan government to cancel its meeting with the separatists and stick to their agreed formula in going ahead with the talks. What was agreed was that talks at the levels of NSAs, Directors General of Military Operations and Director General of Border Security Forces with that of Rangers to address concerns on terrorism and firings at the border. The government has to stick to it,” a source in the BJP said.