Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Sunday expressed disappointment over cancellation Indo-Pak NSA-level talks while his predecessor Omar Abdullah blamed Mufti for playing a part in termination of the dialogue.
“I hope that break in talks would be temporary and the thaw achieved at Ufa, where the prime ministers of the two countries met and exhibited great camaraderie, will not be allowed to go waste,” Mufti said and hoped that the two neighbours will re-engage soon in a meaningful dialogue and steps taken by New Delhi to remove impediments in normalisation of relations will be reciprocated by Islamabad.
“For a sensitive border state like J&K, peace and stability on both the internal and the external fronts, are of critical significance to normalcy, stability and development. From this perspective, last-minute cancellation of the NSA-level bilateral meeting between our country and Pakistan is a great disappointment,” the chief minister said.
“Escalation of firing along the Line of Control (LoC), coupled with incidents of terrorism, are matters of serious concern to us here, as much as they are in the rest of the country,” he added.
However, Mufti’s predecessor and opposition National Conference working president Omar Abdullah blamed him for playing part in the cancellation of the talks.
“After playing his part in ensuring the cancellation it’s a bit rich coming from him! (sic),” Omar wrote on his Twitter handle in response to Mufti’s statement.
Hurriyat convention foiled
The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Sunday used force to break up a demonstration of Syed Ali Geelani-led Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) workers who were protesting against authorities for foiling a party convention. The TeH had announced a party convention at the Hyderpora residence of Geelani to commemorate its 11th foundation day.
Reports said workers staged a demonstration at uptown Hyderpora after authorities banned a proposed convention of the separatist amalgam by deploying a heavy contingent of police and paramilitary personnel outside the venue.“We were protesting peacefully but police fired water canons and tear smoke shells after seeing our numbers swell,” said a protester.
Geelani’s spokesman Ayaz Akbar termed the incidents “state terrorism”. “Before coming to power Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) was talking about ‘battle of ideas’ and ‘goli nahin boli’ (dialogue instead of bullets). Now, to remain in power, he has surrendered everything to New Delhi. The government here is run by (NSA) Doval now and Mufti is a mere spectator,” Akbar told Deccan Herald.
He warned that denying political space to separatists could have serious consequences for the government.