No Talks With Hurriyat Until They Separate From Pak: Governor 

SRINAGAR — Saying  that the members of the Hurriyat Conference “don’t even go to the toilet without asking Pakistan,” Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday said that no talks would be held with them until they separate themselves from Pakistan.

“I haven’t held talks with any stakeholders. I recently met representatives from various parties. As far as Hurriyat is concerned, they don’t even go to the toilet without asking Pakistan. So till the time they don’t keep Pakistan separate, no talks will be held with them,” Malik told reporters  after being asked about holding talks with stakeholders of the Kashmir problem, including the Hurriyat Conference. 

Malik said though he has held no talks with any stakeholder, he meets everyone. “I met Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, M Y Tarigami and all recently,” he said.

“So there will be no talks with them till they do not stop insisting on involving Pakistan. Talks are the prerogative of the government. My role is to make the situation conducive for the talks and I am trying to make that happen.

“You would have seen there is decrease in violence, there is a decrease in (militants’) recruitment, stone-pelting incidents have come down. It is not because of me, but due to the attitude of the people,” he said.

Referring to the death of seven civilians in Kulgam after government forces left an encounter site in Kulgam without sanitising it, he said there was “carelessness on our part” 

 “What happened in Kulgam is very unfortunate and should not have happened. There was carelessness on our part also as well as on theirs (youths).”

He said the government forces have been told not to leave the area without clearing it after an encounter and people must also understand it could be dangerous.

“We have told the forces (not to leave) without clearing the area. There should also be advertisements in newspapers appealing to the people not to go near the sites of encounters. People should also understand this, political parties too should come forward and stop people from going to encounter sites for a few days till sites are cleared,” he said.

Earlier, in his speech, Malik said the problem of Kashmir was not a creation of the people of Kashmir but that of the former rulers in Delhi.

“The problem of Kashmir has not been created by Kashmiris. What the erstwhile rulers in Delhi did, it fanned uncertainty, separatism and all problems here. But today, I can safely say as a representative of the government that Delhi is a friend of Kashmiris.

“Delhi does not want to govern you but wants you to govern the whole country. You govern your state and your children become DM, SSP, DIG, IG in every part of the country and become the best state of the country,” he said.

Referring to the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Manaan Wani in an encounter with government forces, the governor said the scholar-turned militant’s death pained him as Wani could have done much more for the country had he not chosen the path of militancy.

 “Some days ago, there was an incident at AMU. A 9militant) Manaan Wani was killed here. He was well educated and I felt pained that he would have done so much for the country, had he not gone that way. Some (Kashmiri) students (at AMU) gathered for offering his (Wani’s) funeral prayers.

 “The vice-chancellor told students to offer prayers inside a mosque and not outside as it could have attracted press and in such a city, especially in western UP, where a riot takes place in a minute. All the students understood but two of them did not, so the university officials took them away and suspended them and some inspector registered a sedition case against them,” the governor said.

He said in reaction to the suspension and the case, the Kashmiri students warned of leaving the university if the suspension and the sedition case were not revoked.

 “What message would it have sent, if 1,200 students from Kashmir had left Aligarh? The separation of Kashmir and the country would have happened the same day. I did not sleep that night. I looked for (Union HRD Minister) (Prakash) Javedkar, he was in Rajasthan, and told him to tell the vice-chancellor (VC) to revoke the suspension,” he said.

Malik said he spoke to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the AMU vice chancellor regarding the incident.

 “The chief minister said since there was no complaint from the university, these obnoxious charges will be dropped,” Malik said.

He said his administration has decided to appoint liaison officers in every city having more than a dozen Kashmiri students.

 “These liaison officers will look after the well-being of the Kashmiri students and sort out their problems. It will send a positive message and ultimately (the situation in) Kashmir will improve,” he said.

PM Directed Me To Build ‘Badhiya’ Kashmir  

Governor Satyapal Malik has said that he has been directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build a “badhiya (wonderful) Kashmir” where corruption, inefficiency and sluggishness will not be tolerated.

During an interview, the governor had outlined many schemes for generation of employment in the state. These ideas include roping in private players.

“When I started for Kashmir, the prime minister told me to give the people of the state a ‘badhiya Kashmir’. Acting on these directions, I created a corporation immediately after taking over. It borrowed Rs 8,000 crore from banks for (completing) all the pending projects within one year,” he said while answering questions on development.

Asked whether private companies will be brought into the state, the governor said, “For that, we need to clear the perception about the Valley, especially Srinagar.

“There are teething problems, including land and labour, but above all this, there is another issue which bothers me a lot. For setting an industry in the state, it takes four years to get requisite clearances. A section of bureaucracy is sluggish and they will have to pull up their socks,” he said, adding “it is clear that they have to perform or suffer”.

The governor said, “The message to the bureaucracy is that corruption, inefficiency and sluggishness will not be tolerated as I am going to be very harsh with such people.” 

Besides this, officers from the Kashmir Administrative Services and other state services will have to furnish their property details, which will be made available online like in the case of All India Services officers.

The governor said he has initiated a programme under which he would host an investment summit in Jammu and it may be followed later in Srinagar.

“We need to revive tourism because its revival will help other sector such as handlooms, handicraft etc,” he said.

The governor said that his priorities included the cleaning of the Dal Lake and to ensure that 2014-like floods do not reoccur.

“I have been made to understand that the Wullur Lake is full of weeds and because of it, no water from the Jehlum flows into it. So, we will soon start an ambitious project of cleaning the lake first so that Srinagar is saved from floods in the future.

“Besides this, I have directed that the Dal Lake should be cleaned in next six months and its area should be clearly demarcated. I am sure I will be able to do this,” the governor said.

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