After a brief meeting in Paris between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Nawaz Sharif, India has hinted dialogue with the separatists of Jammu and Kashmir.
Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, Minister of State for Home said in reply to a question whether the government has initiated any talks with the separatist groups in J&K with a view to restore peace in the state.
He replied that the government remains open to dialogue with those who are willing to shun the path of violence and work within the framework of the Constitution.
In the past, the Modi government had taken a stand that it had no proposal to hold dialogue with separatists and has been dealing with them sternly on ground.
Chaudhary also listed measures taken by the Centre in tandem with the state government to put an end to the violence in the state which includes multi-pronged approach to contain cross border infiltration, construction of border fencing and pro-active action against militants within the state.
He said the government has adopted various counter measures to neutralize the efforts and capabilities of militants to disturb peace in the state.
The government has also encouraged policies to mainstream the youth, including providing employment opportunities to wean them away from militancy, he said.
Meanwhile, India described the meeting between Modi and Nawaz as a “brief exchange of courtesies”, but Pakistanis termed it as a “good” meeting.
The meeting was the first between the two leaders after July when they had met in the Russian city of Ufa and had agreed that their National Security Advisors would meet.
The two leaders had attended the UN General Assembly session in September but did not meet even though they had stayed in the same hotel.
Modi and Sharif came under one roof during a peacekeeping summit held on the sidelines of the General Assembly, but only waved at each other and did not speak or shake hands.
Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani while commenting on the recent meeting between Modi and Sharif asserted that any dialogue process between India and Pakistan would prove futile.
The hardliner leader said that Kashmir issue should be resolved in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of its people and the talks will happen only when India will accept Kashmir as disputed territory.