Srinagar, Jun 03: Asking the separatists to come forward for talks and save the state from “bloodshed”, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Sunday termed the unilateral ceasefire and the offer of dialogue by the Centre as an opportunity that does not come every day.
“The people of Kashmir and the leadership here have to decide on the opportunity provided by the Centre in terms of unilateral ceasefire, which stopped the bloodshed here, and then the readiness for dialogue, how we benefit from it,” Mehbooba said addressing a convention of her Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) here.
Mehbooba said the ceasefire and talks offer an opportunity to the separatists to stop bloodshed in Jammu and Kashmir.
“There are other parties who are not in the mainstream, and if they have some other agenda, they have an opportunity now if they want to stop bloodshed in J&K. We always say that there has to be a political solution to J&K and the army or CRPF or police cannot resolve it,” she said.
“It can only be resolved politically thorough dialogue. And when there is an offer of dialogue from the Centre, I request all stake holders to come forward to save J&K and its economy,” the CM added.
While the Centre announced unilateral ceasefire for the holy month of Ramadhan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently said the Centre was ready to talk to separatists in the valley if they are willing for a dialogue.
The chief minister said while she cannot force the separatists, they have to think on giving the youth in Kashmir “a way out from the stone and gun culture”.
“We cannot force you or give you a dictation, but can only request even a day before yesterday a youth got killed after he came under a vehicle during stone-pelting. He was an orphan but why take to stone-pelting? Why not give them a way out from this morass, from stone or gun culture,” she said.
Putting the onus on the separatists, Mehbooba said the mainstream parties in the state gave them an opportunity by providing an atmosphere for talks and now it was up to the separatists to take advantage of the opportunity.
“We, mainstream parties, gave you unilateral ceasefire and an atmosphere for talks, now it is up to you – the separatists,” she said.
“I request them that it is an opportunity, that you always say that military solution is no solution and only dialogue is the way forward to achieve a political solution. So, today you have an offer of dialogue.”
“They (Centre) are saying come and talk to us. I think if J&K has to be taken out of this morass and difficult time, then all be it mainstream parties or separatists have to come forward and use this opportunity. Such an opportunity does not come every day,” she said, adding “I request all the leaders (separatists) you are very tall leaders – but right now use this opportunity of talks to save J&K. Come forward and talk.”
She said the eyes of the whole country were on Kashmir and if the people here lose this opportunity, then no one will support or advocate for them tomorrow.
“The Home Minister of this country is saying they want to embrace Kashmiris and are ready for talks. If we lose this opportunity, nobody will support us tomorrow, no one will advocate for us. The eyes of the whole country are on J&K and its leadership to see what they decide and how they try to save the people of Kashmir, especially its youth. If we have to save J&K, this is an opportunity for us,” Mehbooba said.
Amidst reports of more youth joining militant ranks, the chief minister said the increase in the militancy would only increase the footprints of the security forces in the valley.
“The increase in the number of youth picking up guns will increase the presence of army, CRPF and the police here. The more the situation improves, the more we can tell Army, CRPF or police that your role is over and you reduce your footprints,” she said.
Referring to the spate of grenade attacks over the last few days, Mehbooba said gun or grenade attacks achieve nothing.
“Despite the unilateral ceasefire, there are grenade attacks. They do not see that civilians are getting killed, they do not see that army or CRPF troopers have come from far-flung areas for their bread and butter, what will this achieve?” she asked.
“There have been thousands of grenade attacks till now, thousands have picked up guns and become militants, but what has been achieved? We have achieved Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, Poonch-Rawalkote road and if the situation improves, I promise you that we will re-open more such routes,” she said.
The chief minister also batted for talks between India and Pakistan and condemned the ceasefire violations on the border.
“Till both the countries come closer, situation will not improve. J&K bears the maximum impact of the relationship between India and Pakistan. So, our party’s agenda is that they should talk to each other,” she added.
Jaish almost wiped out, no one willing to head it: Army
Srinagar, Apr 24: Army on Wednesday claimed the government forces have “severely targeted” the militants for the last few months and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant outfit was “almost wiped out with no one willing to take over it”.
Addressing a press conference here, GOC 15 Corps, KJS Dhillon, who was accompanied by Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh, IGP Kashmir SP Pani, and IG CRPF Zulfikar Hassan, said that 69 militants have been killed and 12 of them arrested so far this year.
“Post Pulwama incident, 41 militants have been killed and out of them 25 belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, 13 of them were Pakistanis while 13 were A+ category,” Dhillon said.
The GOC 15 Corps claimed that they have targeted JeM leadership.
“The situation now is so that no one is coming forward to take over the leadership of JeM in the valley,” he said.
“Even after Pakistan’s best efforts, we will continue to suppress JeM. The operations against the militants will continue with full vigour and we will not let militancy rise up,” he said, while appealing the local militants to surrender.
“Recruitment of local militants has gone down. In addition, those who surrender, we will take care of their security,” he said.
Dhillon also advised civilians not to rush to the encounter sites.
Asked about the bi-weekly restrictions on civilian traffic on the Highway, he replied, “This is just a temporary measure. There are now relaxations on the civilian traffic.”
On the occasion, the DGP said 272 militants were killed in the state during 2018 and a “large number was apprehended.”
He too claimed that the local recruitment in militant outfits had declined.
“2018 was generally a successful year. There has been less ‘law and order’ problem. We brought many youth (who had joined militancy) back to their homes,” the DGP claimed.
“Elections have been conducted peacefully in the state because of a well-planned security grid. Voter turnover at 13 percent in Anantnag district is not less. People voted despite threats, no one can be forced to vote,” he said.
Asked there were reports that 11 youth had gone missing in south Kashmir during the last one month, the IGP Kashmir said, “Few had gone missing but returned. They had gone missing for other reasons, not to join militancy.”
Held Pak militant paraded before media
‘Chota Dujana was active in Srinagar for over a year’
Srinagar, Apr 24: Police on Wednesday presented a Pakistani militant Mohammad Waqar, alias Chota Dujana before the media, who, they claimed, was arrested from Pattan area in Baramulla on Monday.
During a press conference here, the militant was briefly allowed to respond to media.
“My name is Mohammad Waqar, resident of Miana Mohalla Punjab in Pakistan. I underwent a four-month militant training there,” he said.
“I was told that Kashmiris are harassed, women are assaulted and Muslims are not allowed to offer prayers in Masjids. But I did not find any such thing here,” he replied when asked why had he picked up arms.
The militant was soon moved away.
SSP Baramulla, Abdul Wahid, said Waqar was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba and had arrived in Kashmir in July 2017.
“He was operating in Srinagar for over a year now,” the officer said.
He added that the militant was travelling in a vehicle along with a Kashmiri when they were intercepted by the police near Mirgund, Pattan.
“They were chased and arrested near Chainabal Pattan,” he said.
The SSP said that as per their preliminary investigations, the militant was given shelter in old city as well as uptown areas of Srinagar.
“His plan was to resurrect militancy in Baramulla,” Wahid said.
Malik sent to judicial custody till May 24
New Delhi, Apr 24: A Delhi court Wednesday sent the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, arrested in connection with the alleged funding case, to judicial custody till May 24.
The Tihar jail authorities have also moved an application seeking direction to produce Malik through video conferencing due to security concerns.
The family of Yasin Malik, said on Saturday, that the JKLF chief had fallen ill and was shifted to a Delhi hospital after he went on a hunger strike to protest against his “illegal” detention.
Earlier this month, Malik was brought to Delhi from Jammu and was later arrested by NIA in connection with an alleged case related to the funding of militant and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. He was produced in a special court which remanded him in NIA’s custody till April 22.
Malik was shifted to Delhi’s Tihar Jail after NIA secured his production remand. The JKLF chief was taken into preventive custody in February by the J&K police and lodged in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail.
Malik organisation JKLF was banned last month by the Centre.