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Pak plays usual mischief; Rajnath Singh offers J&K help

| SRIDHAR KUMARASWAMI
Published : Jul 11, 2016, 7:07 am IST
Updated : Jul 11, 2016, 7:07 am IST

Pakistan on Sunday started fishing in troubled waters by lashing out at India, describing slain terrorist Burhan Wani as a “Kashmiri leader” and alleging his killing by Indian security forces on Frida

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Photo: PTI)
 Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Photo: PTI)

Pakistan on Sunday started fishing in troubled waters by lashing out at India, describing slain terrorist Burhan Wani as a “Kashmiri leader” and alleging his killing by Indian security forces on Friday was an “extra-judicial” one. Wani was a top commander of the pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen and a poster boy of new-age militancy. In the wake of the violent protests in Kashmir after Wani’s killing, Union home minister held a meeting in New Delhi on Sunday to review the situation in the state and spoke to chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, promising all possible help from the Centre.

Wani had shocked the security agencies earlier and had captured the imagination of a section of radicalised youth in the Kashmir Valley as he posed with a group of fellow militants with Kalashnikovs at a jungle hideout, but this did not deter Pakistan, which conveniently ignored the fact he was a militant who chose the gun. Interestingly, Pakistan, which claims it is a victim of terrorism, has had no qualms over hanging and executing the militants who target the Pakistan Army and ISI, while openly supporting militants operating from its soil who target India.

In a statement, the Pakistan foreign ministry said: “The extrajudicial killing of Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani and scores of other innocent Kashmiris is deplorable and condemnable. Such acts are a violation of fundamental human rights of Kashmiris and cannot deter the people of J&K from their demand for the realisation of the right to self-determination,” and once again demanded that India carry out a plebiscite in J&K under UN auspices.

In New Delhi, Mr Rajnath Singh directed officials to ensure that the paramilitary forces in Kashmir provide all assistance to the state government for restoration of peace and normality in the Valley as soon as possible.

Information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu was quoted by news agencies as saying: “We are really surprised that some people are trying to support the so-called protesters who are sympathising with the terrorist. He (Wani) was a Hizbul Mujahideen commander, how can any Indian have sympathy for such people ” Mr Naidu further added: “As far as the government is concerned, we are very clear that (we) will not tolerate such activities. But you can’t have an overnight or ready-made solution to such a long-standing issue. The government is trying to deal with that.”

Mr Naidu added that as a democratic country, India will adopt democratic methods, and said: “There is an elected government in the state. The Central government will extend all support to the state government. The Centre and state will together tackle the situation. I am confident that the situation will be... normal at the earliest.”

BJP leader Ram Madhav was quoted as saying: “People in the Valley should help bring normality. Restraint and calm should be the motto of people and the police. The government wants a peaceful and terror-free J&K for progress... Loss of lives in South Kashmir is unfortunate and saddening. We have to develop non-lethal ways of tackling such situations. The police too suffer heavily.”

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi