New Delhi: As per reports The Narendra Modi government today told the Supreme Court it will not hold talks with separatist leaders who want “azadi” from India.“We will talk to only those persons who are legally permitted to hold talks on behalf of people of Kashmir,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a Bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar.
Rohatgi said the government was willing to talk to only recognised political parties in the state.The AG’s categorical statement came during hearing of a petition filed by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (Srinagar) challenging the High Court’s verdict rejecting their demand for a ban on use of pellet guns against protesters in the Valley.
“All those whom the law does not prevent can meet and come out with suggestions, as the situation is not very palpable,” the Bench said.The Bar association wanted talks with Hurriyat leaders without the condition of these falling within the framework of the Indian Constitution.
“If you throw stones, close schools, how will talks happen in Kashmir?” said the Bench, which had on April 10 posed some serious questions to the association while seeking steps to deal with violent agitators.
On Friday, it again requested the association to suggest a roadmap for dialogue and peace.The court asked the Bar members to get names of people who could hold talks with the Centre.“Dialogues have to be initiated by political leaders, not in courts,” Rohatgi told the Bench.
“Who is stopping them from having a dialogue? They can meet the Chief Minister or the Prime Minister,” the AG said.The Bench said it would direct the Centre to hold talks only if there was a first step from the people whose cause the Bar association espoused. The court said it could ask the CRPF and the state police not to use pellet guns for two weeks if it was assured that there would be no stone-pelting.The Bench indicated it could set the stage for talks between the stakeholders from the Valley and Centre, but cautioned nothing would work out if those representing the Valley wanted secession.“We can issue some directions if there is a reciprocal undertaking from your side,” the Bench told the Bar association.
“If we direct them (government) to stop using pellet guns, will you undertake not to throw stones and indulge in agitations?” the Bench asked the petitioner. But the association leaders were apparently reluctant to give any undertaking, saying they didn’t represent the public at large.
The court posted the matter for May 9 after asking the Bar association to talk to people and get back to it with suggestions. The Bench also made it clear to the Centre that it would involve itself in the matter only if there was a view that it could play a role and there was no jurisdictional issue.“If you feel the court has no role and if you feel we have no jurisdiction, we will close the file at this moment,” the Bench told the Attorney General, who objected to some of the suggestions made by the Bar association, including that the separatists were being ignored.