The BJP on Wednesday made it categorically clear that the Kashmir problem 'should be discussed only with elected representatives of the state', and not those acting at Pakistan's behest.
Addressing newspersons party spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "It will be a wastage of time to talk to any person or organisation that sets the agenda for negotiations on the directives of the Pakistan embassy."
However, he was embarrassed when it was pointed out that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been backing the efforts of the Kashmir Committee, headed by former Union law minister Ram Jethmalani, to open negotiations with some Kashmiri leaders, including the separatist Hurriyat Conference.
"It would not be correct to link the Kashmir Committee's initiative with the prime minister," he clarified.
Naqvi said the turnout in the first round of polling was a fitting rebuff to the militants who had, at the best of Pakistan, warned people against participating in the elections.
The first phase of polling involved constituencies, which are regarded as strongholds of terrorists, he emphasised.
He appealed to the international community to adopt a strict posture against Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism and attempting to frustrate the 'real desire' of the people for a popular and democratically elected government.
Pointing to the official Pakistan television channel repeatedly airing reports of the Indian army of forcing voters to cast their votes in Lolab assembly constituency, Naqvi said, "We all know that the election in Lolab has been countermanded following the assassination of the National Conference candidate."
He reiterated that the BJP was not favour of trifurcation of J&K, ignored a question on how his party justified its electoral alliance with the Jammu State Morcha, an RSS-supported organisation, that seeks trifurcation of the state.
Jammu and Kashmir Elections 2002: The complete coverage
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