With ongoing anti-militancy operations in Kashmir, Hurriyat Conference leaders gesture for ‘talks’ doesn’t come as a surprise. The ruling party and the government at the centre should take this as a ‘new beginning’ and close its ‘widening gap’ with the conflict riddled state.
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Starting over afresh, the central government, irrespective of Kashmir’s Muslim-majority, should take the initiative to steer the state towards peace. Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said there is a lot of change everywhere. He said the situation in Kashmir has improved significantly. Malik added that recruitment of militants has almost stopped and stone-pelting incidents, especially on Fridays, had ended. “We do not feel good when a youth is killed, we want to bring him back. There is a lot of thought being given as to what kind of scheme is needed to bring them back. But when someone opens fire, the government forces will fire back.”
However, Malik said it is not easy to access the Kashmir situation while sitting elsewhere in the country. “Kashmir changes in 15 days, you do not know anything. If you want to know Kashmir, live there and see it.”
The chairman of Hurriyat, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said he would welcome talks. He said Hurriyat Conference has always been in favor of talks as a means of resolution. “Kashmiris, being the most affected party for the past 72-years, naturally want its resolution.