Other States

Keep Pak. out of picture, Governor tells J&K parties

Satya Pal Malik  

J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday ticked off major regional parties — National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — and the separatist Hurriyat Conference, criticising their frequent reference to Pakistan’s role in resolving the Kashmir issue.

At a function in Srinagar, Mr. Malik said there could be no talks with the Hurriyat “until they keep Pakistan out of the discussion”.

“I recently met representatives Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and M.Y. Tarigami. As far as the Hurriyat is concerned, they don’t even go to the toilet without asking Pakistan. Till the time they don’t keep Pakistan separate, no talks will be held with them,” Mr. Malik said.

‘Not acceptable’

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Malik, referring to the NC and the PDP, said, “These [political parties] have no right to talk about India-Pakistan peace talks. It is between governments of the two nations, as being neighbours makes it obvious that talks will happen for sure. But political parties bringing up the issue of Pakistan into dialogue process was neither acceptable to us then, nor will it be now.”

It is for the first time in J&K that a Governor has drawn a red line for both the mainstream and separatist parties on the issue of Pakistan.

Mehbooba rebuttal

Reacting to the Governor’s statement, former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti reiterated that her party would continue to pitch for India-Pakistan dialogue.

“Kashmir has both internal and external dimensions. Relations with Pakistan have a direct bearing on the situation here. Time has proved the fact that whenever relations between India and Pakistan were good, there was an era of peace, development and dialogue in J&K. Good governance surely restores peoples’ confidence but gets wasted in absence of dialogue and engagement, internally and externally,” Ms. Mufti said.

Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq described Mr. Malik’s remarks as “illiteracy” on Kashmir.

“Pakistan is party to the Kashmir dispute; the fact is acknowledged by the international community, the United Nations and India itself. History bears witness to numerous India-Pak. dialogue on Kashmir in the past. In fact, the peaceful future of South Asia also lies in resumption of India and Pakistan dialogue and addressing the Kashmir issue as per the aspirations of people of J&K,” the Mirwaiz said.

BJP praise

BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav on Thursday met Governor Malik at the Raj Bhavan.

“Mr. Madhav congratulated the Governor for ensuring peaceful polls to the urban local bodies and hoped that the upcoming panchayat elections in the State will witness massive participation of people,” a party spokesperson said.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 5:19:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/keep-pak-out-of-picture-governor-tells-jk-parties/article25326796.ece

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