Huriyat chief flays Rajnath, other BJP leaders for statements on Kashmir

22 May 2017

Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani today criticised Union home minister Rajnath Singh and other BJP leaders for their statements on the Kashmir issue, alleging that their "narratives" reflect "negative and egoistic approach".

Geelani said the Kashmir issue is serious and cannot be resolved through rhetoric or provocative statements. "Their (BJP leaders) narratives about Jammu and Kashmir illustrate their negative and egoistic approach," he said, reacting to the statements of Singh, BJP president Amit Shah and the state's deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh.
Addressing the home minister, the Hurriyat chief said, "You may raise false hopes but you can never ignore the established facts about the Kashmir issue." His reaction came a day after Rajnath Singh said, "Kashmir is ours, Kashmiris are ours and Kashmiriyat is also ours."

The home minister had also asserted that the Modi-led Union government will find the "permanent solution" to the Kashmir problem. The chief said repeated assertions by Delhi-based leaders and all former prime ministers about Kashmir being an integral part of India could not change the ground realities. "With each passing day, the situation turns from bad to worse and even Singh is aware of this fact and situation prevailing in state," Geelani said. The separatist leader said the home minister had made similar statements last year but, "since then, the situation has not changed in their (government's) favour, and despite putting their full military might, the situation has turned tense and appalling".

Geelani added that "despite (the government) utilizing all its resources and military might during the last 70 years, the issue is there and not an iota of change seems (to have happened) on the ground."  Commenting on the BJP president's reported statement that Kashmir is a problem of three-and-a-half districts, Geelani said: "if they are confident and sure about their claim, then it is best to hold a referendum in J&K and ascertain the people's verdict to prove their claim. "We will accept whatever verdict people give. Let people express their verdict and let the world see what people's aspirations are."