Srinagar: Joining the chorus of Indian media and Indian politicians who have blamed Pakistan for the uprising in Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday that it was strange that Pakistan was praising Burhan Wani even while it was bombing and killing those who have picked up arms against it.
“Pakistan calls itself a victim of terrorism. Hundreds of people have been killed in terrorist attacks in that country, so much so that people are afraid of going to mosques. It is therefore regrettable that it should be praising those Kashmiri boys who have picked up arms,” Mehbooba told reporters.
She said in its fight against terrorism, Pakistan has bombed and killed young people who were involved in terror attacks, like the one in which schoolchildren were killed, and yet, the Pakistan government is hailing Kashmiri militants as leaders.
“Today when a Kashmiri child takes up gun, they (Pakistan) call him leader, but when their own children, some from madrassas take up gun, they attack them with drones and hang them in military courts,” Mehbooba said after a meeting with union home minister Rajnath Singh.
“I feel Pakistan, which is viewed by people of Kashmir with sympathy, has this time committed excess,” she said.
The chief minister said there was a need to take “bold measures to address the issue (of Kashmir) as the people of Jammu and Kashmir are our own.”
She said there was an opportunity not just for India but for Pakistan as well to have a dialogue and address the issue.
Mehbooba said a start has to be made somewhere to improve the situation in the state. She suggested revocation of AFSPA from some areas, beginning with 25 to 50 police stations, as an experiment.
“As far as AFSPA is concerned, we are not saying that it should be revoked in one go. But, as a test case, on experimental basis, if it is revoked slowly it can be seen how the situation is in such areas. If the situation remains well, then it should be revoked entirely or it can be re-implemented if you feel that militancy did not allow it to be revoked,” the chief minister said.
Pakistan riled India recently when it hailed iconic Hizb commander Burhan Wani as a “Kashmiri leader” and condemned what its prime minister Nawaz Sharif said was an “extrajudicial killing”.
A vicious media campaign was also run by a few Indian news channels to paint Burhan as a promiscuous youth.