Hurriyat ready for talks: Satya Pal Malik

The Asian Age.  | Yusuf Jameel

India, All India

Malik claimed that there has been a change of heart in everyone in Kashmir.

J&K governor Satya Pal Malik

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik, on Saturday welcomed the “change of heart” among the separatist leaders over the option of resolving the issues confronting the state through talks.

“The Hurriyat (Conference) leaders who once shut their doors to Ram Vilas Paswan are now saying they are ready for talks,” he said while speaking at a function here.

The governor said, “When I came here the (political) temperatures were running very high. One feels good that these have come down considerably. Ram Vilas Paswan was standing at their door ((in 2016) and they didn’t open it. They now say they are ready to talk... they want to talk.”

He also hailed Hurriyat Conference faction chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for speaking against the drug menace and said that the separatist leaders’ proactive role in addressing social issues must be welcomed. He said that the drug addiction is growing into a major problem both in Kashmir Valley and Jammu region of the state whereas neighbouring Punjab “has already been ruined by it”.

Mr Malik claimed that there has been a change of heart in everyone in Kashmir. “The militant recruitment has almost stopped. The stone-pelting after Friday prayers has almost stopped,” he said. He said that nobody wants bloodshed to continue in Kashmir. “We
 just don’t like if a youth is killed. We want to bring those youth who have joined the militants’ ranks back. In this connection there are several proposals under the Centre’s consideration. But when a bullet is fired at the security forces it cannot be reciprocated by presenting a bouquet of flowers. It can only be a “bullet for bullet.”

Stressing the need for working with sincerity to resolve the issues in J&K, the governor said that the youth of the Valley are being misled by promising them that they would go straight to paradise if they die while fighting jihad.

“I say they would get two heavens — their own Kashmir which has been termed as ‘heaven on earth’ by emperor Jahangir and the actual heaven (after their death) if they try to live as good Muslims in this world. While there’s no guarantee of walking into paradise after getting killed while fighting so-called jihad, you would definitely enjoy the best of both the worlds if you live here as good Muslims,” he said.

Mr Malik said that Kashmir is acknowledged as ‘paradise of earth’ by whole world and that what is needed is to make it a better place to live for its people. “This can become India’s best state. You have your own flag and your own constitution. Don’t allow yourself to fall prey to false propaganda,” he said.

He further said that if there was a problem in Kashmir it was due to persisting anger among its young generation and that necessary steps should be taken to tame it.

Mr Malik said when he came to the state he decided not to listen only to intelligence people.

“I am in touch with around 200 people and from them I have come to know about the problems. The diseases have been diagnosed, the diseases are plenty but these can be cured. The narrative can be changed, the prerequisite is that the intentions are good and sincere on both sides,” he added.