Srinagar, Dec 2: The contradictions in the stand of mainstream and separatist camp in Jammu and Kashmir were again visible on Wednesday after Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said reconciliation was the only option for India and Pakistan while hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani termed dialogue process between the two countries as “futile” exercise.
“I hope history may repeat itself. When I took over in 2002, there was peace in the State and borders. I must say reconciliation with Pakistan is the only option for India,” Mufti said while addressing a press conference in Jammu today.
He was replying to a question whether militancy has increased in the Valley as there have been many ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts from across the border and two ISI agents were arrested from Poonch in J&K recently.
Mufti said Pakistan is also suffering. “Two Pakistani army men were recently killed. Our job should be reconciliation”.
On the recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Paris, he said, “I don’t know what they talked. But I can say that atmosphere was good”.
Reacting to the recent statement by former J&K Chief Minister and Opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah that Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is part of Pakistan and will remain part of that country, Mufti said, “It is an evolutionary process. We have to see what is the real situation and what is the defacto position. We have not to jump on it. We have to see how the situation evolves”.
On the situation arising out of incidents of intolerance in the country, CM said India is a great democracy. “It has its own inherent checks and balances. Democracy is the biggest asset we have.”
Asked whether he was satisfied with central government, Mufti said, “I must tell that you that I am fully satisfied with central government”.
He also praised PM Narendra Modi saying he is more focused on Kashmir.
“I am not an ungrateful person. PM Modi is fully focused on Kashmir,” Mufti said adding he has seen many PMs in the past and can say with certainty that PM Modi is more focused towards Kashmir.
An hour before Mufti’s press conference, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani addressed media at his Hyderpora residence in Srinagar and rejected India-Pakistan talks.
Terming India-Pakistan bilateral talks a futile exercise, he said, “about 150 rounds of dialogue process between India and Pakistan in the past have proved to be a futile exercise and have not yielded anything concrete”.
He said problem between India and Pakistan is Kashmir issue. “India’s unrealistic approach has always turned a stumbled block in the way of its resolution”.
The hardline separatist leader condemned act of terrorism in France in which about 130 people were killed.
“Islam in no way promotes terrorism. We condemn all forms of terrorism including State terrorism,” he said.
Slamming Mufti’s “Battle of Ideas” slogans, Geelani alleged that since Mufti took over as reigns of the State, he has been using brutal force to crush and muzzle dissent. “72 people have been booked under infamous Public Safety Act (PSA) since Mufti took over as CM of the State.
The separatist leader also lashed out at Mufti for again invoking PSA against hardline separatist leader Masarat Alam, who was arrested in April 17 this year for chanting pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and pro-LeT Chief Hafiz Saeed’s slogans and waving Pakistani flags.