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TWO days after the Centre appointed former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma as a special representative “to initiate and carry forward dialogue with elected representatives, various organisations and concerned individuals” in Jammu and Kashmir, Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh said here Thursday that talks were already on and there was little new in the initiative.
“Ye interlocutor nahin hai. Kahan likha hai interlocutor? Kis order mein likha hai interlocutor (He is not an interlocutor. Where does it say interlocutor? In which order)? In English, there are different meanings of every word,” Singh said, adding, “Bharat sarkar ne ek adhikari ko manoneet kiya hai, jaisey designated spokesperson hein hamare Brigadier sahib. Yeh jo bolengey usko party ka man samjha jayega. Bus (The Government of India has appointed an officer, like we have Brigadier Anil Gupta as the designated spokesperson of the state BJP. What he speaks will be taken as the party stand. That’s it).”
Speaking at a rally here to mark Accession Day, when J&K agreed to join India after Partition, for the first time as ‘Vijay Diwas’, Singh, BJP MP from Udhampur in Jammu, said that over 100 delegations had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to the state recently. “Woh dialogue hi to tha. Woh baatcheet hi to thi. Aur kaun si nai baat hai (That was dialogue too, those were talks too. What is new now)?”
However, to avoid complaints from people that talks were not being held to the extent of their aspirations, “ek vyakti ko manoneet karke nirdharit kar diya, nirantar charcha ki vyavastha ke liye (a person has been appointed for a sustained dialogue process)”. “Kal ko koi yeh na kahey ki charcha dhang se nahin hui (Tomorrow, nobody should say that talks were not held properly),” Singh said.
Talking to reporters after announcement of Sharma’s name as a representative for talks, Rajnath Singh had called it initiation of a “sustained dialogue”, and said, “Sharma will have full freedom to engage in talks with anyone he likes.”
In his speech, the MoS, PMO, also said there was nothing like the “Kashmir issue”, admitting that even BJP workers were wrong in saying that Sharma would help resolve this. “Kaun sa vishey? Koi issue nahin hai (What issue? There is no such issue),” Singh said. “Jammu and Kashmir is like any of the other states of India.”
The only issue to be addressed was how to get back areas of Kashmir under illegal occupation of Pakistan, he added.
In his speech though, Deputy J&K CM and BJP leader Nirmal Singh referred to Sharma as “the Centre’s interlocutor” and asked separatists to avail the opportunity and come forward for talks.