Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has told Home Minister Rajnath Singh during a meeting that there is a need to restart the peace process and reconciliation in the state including dialogue with the separatists. The CM’s initiative follows her recent hardening of stance against the separatists. She had recently ordered the arrest of JKLF chief Yasin malik and other separatists after they threatened to start an agitation against the government’s move to establish Kashmiri Pandit colonies and Sainik colonies in J&K.
Informed sources told this newspaper that CM Mufti was was also discussing with her intelligence chief to give some space to the separatists including Hurriyat chief Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani. In a recent media briefing, J&K government spokesman and PDP minister Nayeem Akhtar had said that the PDP and the separatists were on the same page regarding the Sainik colonies and Kashmiri Pandit colonies, and that “it was a good omen”. But BJP immediately conveyed its displeasure to Mehbooba Mufti. The BJP leaders told her that the national party was accused of having an alliance with the PDP, which is a separatist party in Kashmir. In order to allay the ally’s fear, CM Mufti decided not to release Masarat Aalam Bhat. She also told the police to arrest all separatist leaders on Fridays to avoid any disturbances in the form of Friday protests in Srinagar.
She then accused the separatists of tarnishing the image of Islam by encouraging stone-pelting incidents after the Friday prayers at different places in the Kashmir valley.
Her attack follows the separatists’ accusation that she is anti-Muslim and anti-Kashmir and that she is giving fillip to the secret agenda of Nagpur based RSS by agreeing to establish Sainik colonies and separate colonies for Kashmiri Pandits.
Defending her remark regarding Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir Valley as throwing a pigeon among the cats, she said that some sections of the media and the National Conference distorted her comment and gave the impression that she projected all Kashmiri Muslims as cats. She clarified her reference was to the militants and not the common man, who she said were secular to the core.
Mehbooba further attacked the NC, saying their foul play in the 1987 Assembly elections had given way to militancy in the state.
On the establishment of Transit Camps for the Kashmiri Pandits, she said that it was important for the government to provide them security in these camps before they can mingle with the other sections of society in their respective areas. On the establishment of Sainik Colonies, she said she has no objection to establishing such colonies for the state subjects.
Meanwhile, Mufti has also filed her nomination papers as PDP candidate for the bypolls in Anantnag Assembly segment. Mehbooba has said the people of Anantnag will repose their trust in her like they did to her father.