SRINAGAR: While accusing Narendra Modi Government of killing former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s “dream” of solving the Kashmir issue, separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah on Monday said militants are heroes for Kashmiris just as Bhagat Singh is a hero for India.
“The same way India celebrates Bhagat Singh, militants are our heroes,” said Shah, who returned here on Monday, two days after being detained in New Delhi ahead of his now cancelled meeting with Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz. When told that he had a role in the cancellation of India-Pakistan talks twice in two years, Shah said, “It is surprising that you are blaming me for it.”
Terming unfortunate External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement that Vajpayee’s Kashmir policy was a “thing of the past”, Shah said during the former Prime Minister’s rule, separatist leaders were part of the dialogue process.
Lauding Pakistan’s role in Kashmir, he said it was India which had to come out from “the denial mode”.
On former RAW chief A S Dulat’s revelation that Shah was offered the Chief Ministership in 1996 by the then Central government, the separatist leader corrected it saying he was instead offered the post of Prime Minister of Jammu & Kashmir.