Yasin Malik told us to prepare Geelani for talks and he would join: Javed Beg
Jammu: In remarks that should not go down well with journalists in Kashmir, PDP MLA Javed Beg on Wednesday fulminated against the Kashmir media in the lower house of the state legislature, saying “journalists want nuisance value for news.”
“Media is galvanising the death in Kashmir,” he yelled in the House even as Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti sat silently.
“Newspapers show huge gatherings, of 50,000 people, at militants’ funerals… politics is being done on the blood of Kashmiris,” Beg said.
To argue that people’s presence at funerals was no indicator of righteousness, he said that 30 lakh people attended the funeral of the killer of Salman Taseer (Governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province) and only 5,000 attended the funeral of Edhi Foundation founder (the social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi).
Calling for resolution of the Kashmir issue, Beg referred to a 1999 meeting of the CIA with then president Bill Clinton when Nawaz Sharif was in the United Sates.
“India and Pakistan were ready for a nuclear war,” he said, quoting minutes of the meeting. “It is not just about land… there are two nuclear powers and people are involved,” he said of the Kashmir dispute.
“I am taking a risk, but it is a risk worth taking to say the truth: that a purely political movement has been turned into a religious movement by our people,” he said, referring to the Kashmiri movement for self-determination.
Beg appealed to Pakistan to “stop sending guns”, a statement that drew applause from the BJP MLAs in the assembly.
“No relative of Geelani sahab has died (in the movement) but my relatives died,” he said. “Geelani sahab believes that Kashmir is part of Pakistan due to geography and religious sentiments. Pakistan was created in the name of religion and they could not run it,” he said.
Beg said that for the resolution of the Kashmir issue, the Hurriyat Conference “will have to change its behaviour if they are well wishers of the people”.
Beg, who represents Baramulla in the state legislature, said that those Hurriyat Conference leaders who claimed to “stand like a mountain” have been killed. “Abdul Gani Lone asked Pakistan to stop sending people to Kashmir…. he was killed… Mirwaiz Farooq, Qazi Nisar, bureaucrats, officers, Dr Guru,” he mentioned among such names.
“It is my appeal to those who are trying to give religious colour to this movement: if you are sincere, resolve Kashmir issue through talks… war is not in anyone’s favour… grab the opportunity and muster courage and have dialogue,” he said.
“If Hurriyat Conference does not want to talk, our government cannot help it,” he said.
Referring to the interlocutors appointed by Government of India, he said, “Yasin Malik told us to prepare Geelani sahab for talks and said he would join… when Mirwaiz was asked he, too, said the same, asking us to get Pakistan ready (for talks),” Beg said, adding that these leaders were scared to do anything independently.
Criticising Leader of Opposition Omar Abdullah for boycotting the chief minister’s speech, he asked, “What will happen by the boycott? He (Omar) has to give us vision in a participatory democracy. If you want to make the government accountable, this is the forum.”
Beg said that the entire Budget session could be reserved to discuss the Kashmir issue, and yet it will not solve the Kashmir issue.
He said that the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed knew how to respect the people’s verdict. “He knew that a coalition government will lead to understanding between the two (PDP and BJP),” he said, inviting claps from the government’s MLAs. “Let me tell you, BJP will have a very important role in future but I don’t know who will be with whom.”
In sharp contrast to what his colleague said, PDP MLA from Wachi, Aijaz Ahmad, batted for talks with the Hurriyat Conference as well as with Kashmiri militants.
Speaking during his turn to respond to the Governor’s Address, Ahmad appealed to governments of both India and Pakistan to have continuous dialogue.
MLA from Langate, Er Rasheed, taunted BJP MLA Sat Sharma on why he had not reacted to his ally’s (Ahmad’s) remarks on talks with militants. Sharma just smiled and kept mum.
Earlier, Ahmad said that every citizen of J&K was a “stakeholder” in the Kashmir issue. “If Dineshwar Sharma is visiting common people, it is not wrong as he is meeting stakeholders,” he said.
He also said that the government under Mehbooba Mufti had taken some remarkable steps, including the regularisation of casual employees.
He seconded MLA Shopian that a resolution should be passed by the House to congratulate Insha Mushtaq for passing Class 10 Board exams.
The MLA Shopian, Advocate MY Bhat, had demanded that a resolution be passed to congratulate Insha Mushtaq for this remarkable success in her life. The resolution was neither moved by anyone nor was it passed.
The Opposition benches lay empty after the National Conference and the Congress boycotted the chief minister’s speech.