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Talks possible when Hurriyat forgets Pakistan: Governor

Srinagar, Oct 25: Governor, Satya Pal Malik, on Thursday said talks with Hurriyat were possible only after they keep Pakistan out of the equation.

Talking to reporters on the side-lines of ‘Kashmir autumn FAM festival’ here, the governor said his prerogative was to create peaceful atmosphere in the valley to facilitate talks.

“Hurriyat tohbina Pakistan se puche toilet bhinahinjate (Hurriyat doesn’t even prefer going to toilet without seeking permission from Pakistan.) There will be no talk till they stop talking about Pakistan,” he said.

Malik said barring a few politicians, he couldn’t meet the other stakeholders yet.

“So far, I met Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami only.”

Asked about the civilian killings, he said the casualties at Kulgam were an outcome of “the carelessness” shown both by forces and the public.

“The Kulgam civilian killings were unfortunate. The area should have been sanitised before calling off the encounter,” the governor said.

“Forces have been directed to aware people about the presence of explosives under such circumstances. We directed them to spread the message through media to appeal people to stay away from the encounter sites. Politicians and people too have a role to avert such happening in future,” he said.

Governor said Kashmir has been “witnessing a decrease” in the level of violence and recruitment into militant outfits.

“It has been possible due to the attitude of the people,” he said.

Malik said boycott by the political parties and militants resulted in low voter turnout in the recently-held Urban Local Bodies elections.

“In Srinagar, 10,000 people came out to vote. But people will have to take part in Panchayat polls,” he said.

On scrapping of medical insurance for government employees, Malik claim that there was a scam in the file report.

“Even employees wanted the scheme cancelled,” he said.

On corruption at higher levels in administration, he hinted that many officers are likely to get booked under such cases.

“We have constituted an Anti- Corruption Bureau with distinctive laws to overlook such happenings. The KAS officers also have been asked to submit their property details within a month.  You all will see many will get trapped ahead,” he said.

New Delhi Kashmir’s friend

Calling New Delhi a friend of Kashmir, Malik said problems in the valley started due to the “wrongdoings” of erstwhile governments at the centre.

Addressing delegates and tourism players at the function organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department, Malik said the people of Kashmir should not be held responsible for the problems in the region.

“There was a government in Delhi once, whose wrongdoings led to the emergence of separatism and the problem in Kashmir,” he said.

“New Delhi favours Kashmiris ruling the entire India. Talks alone can improve the situation in the valley.

“Being a representative of government, I can assure you that Delhi is Kashmiris friend. New Delhi doesn’t want to rule you people, but it wants Kashmiris to rule the entire country,” he said.

Calling the state “a safest place”, governor said the killings in Kashmir were comparatively lesser than in any other state.

“I know my statement will hurt the people of Bihar, but it is a truth that the entire Kashmir witnesses lesser killings than Patna records on a single day. Everybody is safe, no matter who is in the hit list,” he said.

He said no civilian was killed during the recent municipal polls in the state.

“The improvement in the situation can be gauged with the fact that not a single killing happened during the four phases of ULB polls, though last year during Parliamentary by-polls, nine civilians died on a single day,” he said.

Malik said the region has a scope to compete with the world’s known destination such as Switzerland.

“If peace returns, no state can compete with Kashmir. Tourists also should not get frightened from visiting Kashmir, as I myself walked two kilometers yesterday without security,” he said.

He said the hospitality shown by Kashmiris has been a unique selling point of the region.

“Kashmiri youth should get all the facilities like cinema, coffee shops and a distinctive IPL team to play cricket ahead,” he said.

Over recent episode of suspension order against Aligarh Muslim University students, who held a funeral in absentia for slain Hizbul Mujahideen militant Manan Wani, Malik said the order was revoked after his intervention.

Governor said liaison officer will be deputed in each state for Kashmir students.

“The lesion officer will stay in the nearby police station, who will be overlooking for wellbeing and needs of these students,” he said.

On Bhagwat Geeta order

Expressing his displeasure over the recent order of introducing Urdu Bhagwat Geeta and Ramayana in the schools in the state, governor said the circular might have been issued by some “naïve person”.

“Koi nasamajhaddmithajisnebhejatha (some naïve person sent the order). But I immediately scrapped the circular,” he said.