Srinagar: In a major snub to the separatist leadership, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday ruled out any dialogue with the Hurriyat Conference until they separate themselves from Pakistan. Mocking the pro-freedom amalgam, Malik said that Hurriyat leaders can’t even go to the toilet without seeking permission from Pakistan.
“I met Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and (CPI-M leader) Tarigami. But Hurriyat won’t go to toilet without consent of Pakistan. Unless they keep Pakistan out, no talks will be held with them,” Malik told reporters here.
The BJP politician who took over as a gubernatorial head more than two months ago argued that it was not Kashmiris but Delhi’s wrong policies in the past that created mistrust among people and all the problems in Kashmir.
“Now, today, as a representative I say that Delhi is a friend of Kashmiris. Delhi doesn’t want to rule over you but wants you to rule over the entire country,” Malik said, addressing a tourism department-sponsored gathering at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) on the banks of Dal Lake.
Without naming the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, who boycotted municipal elections held this month, Malik said that all political parties will participate in the Panchayat elections scheduled next month.
“Villages will get more than Rs 1 crore and the election is (to be contested) without party symbol. All parties will take part in it,” he asserted.
On the miserable turnout in the recently-concluded municipal elections, Malik said it had not happened for the first time. He said that the boycott by the NC, PDP, and Hurriyat, as well as threats from militants, was responsible for it.
“Such turnout was recorded before as well. All parties were opposing it, the Hurriyat was opposing it, and the terrorists were threatening,” he said. “Despite that, 10,000 people voted in Srinagar in the last phase.”
He spelled out features of Jammu and Kashmir’s Constitution to show the special provisions the state is enjoying.
He described the Kulgam incident where seven civilians were killed in a blast at a gunfight site as “unfortunate”.
“It is our carelessness as well as theirs (people),” he said. “Forces have been told not to leave before clearing the gunfight site and also issue advisory in papers that people should not go to the site for at least 1-2 days.” He asked political parties to make people aware that they should not visit such sites.
Lauding the talent and hospitality of Kashmiris, the Governor said that Kashmiri children should get all facilities that are available to children in other states of India. “Sports, cinema, coffee shops, IPL team… IPL matches should be played here and Kashmiri children should be welcomed in other states,” he said.
Referring to the Aligarh Muslim University incident where 1,200 Kashmiri students threatened to leave the varsity after two Kashmiri students were expelled for offering funeral prayers in absentia to slain scholar-turned-militant Mannan Wani, Malik said, “Usi din mulk aur Kashmir ka separation ho jataa (That very day, the country and Kashmir would have been separated).”
“I did not sleep that night and got the expulsion order revoked,” he said.