Blame Game Continues

The Centre has to stop half-hearted measures to ensure peace in the Valley

Fayaz Bukhari

‘Operation All Out’ has resumed in Kashmir after suspension of anti-militancy operations during the Muslim holy month of Ramzan. The effort on part of the Centre clearly failed as the ceasefire seemed to have been a half-hearted effort.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh with former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti

Both the Separatist groups and militants didn’t respond to the Centre’s effort, making it clear that the Modi government had done no groundwork before launching the offer. It had not taken the Separatists or Pakistan into confidence before it made the announcement. This was clear as militants intensified their attacks during Ramzan to show their displeasure, finally leading to the killing of senior journalist and editor of Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre blamed the militants for intensifying attacks, killing army man Aurangzeb and murdering Shujaat Bukhari. However, journalist Iftikhar Geelani attributed Bukhari’s killing to a diatribe launched against him for Track-II conference held in Dubai in July last year. Geelani, who also attended the conference, has written that Hurriyat Conference (G) had issued a summary of proceedings which included support for a dialogue, silencing the guns along the Line of Control (LC), taking interim measures, promoting connectivity and garnering support for resumption and sustainability of the peace process between India and Pakistan.

He further writes that there was nothing in the proceedings that called for such a dastardly murder. “After a lot of hue and cry, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, in an interview, termed all those who had participated in the conference as ‘paid agents’. His diatribe was echoed by United Jihad Council and later by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT),” he writes. The Hurriyat Conference (G) also issued a statement saying that the outfit will probe all those who attended the conference.

These statements indicate that last year’s Dubai Track-II conference also seemed to be a one-sided effort. In both the cases Pakistan or the Separatists were not taken into confidence which is clear from the statements made by Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hurriyat Conference against the conference.

Pakistan-based United Jihad Council (UJC) chief, Syed Salahuddin, in a statement described both the ceasefire and talks offer as ‘hoax’ because there had been no let-up in the killing spree by Indian troops during the holy month. “Had there been some seriousness and good intention behind these offers, militant leadership would certainly have given positive response,” he said, adding ‘talks for the sake of talks’ had miserably failed in the past.

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