“Afzal’s hanging created mistrust, widened gaps once again”

“Afzal’s hanging created mistrust, widened gaps once again”

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By News Desk

Admitting that Afzal Guru’s secret execution has created a huge mistrust among the people of Jammu and Kashmir, former Chief interlocutor and journalist Dilip Padgaongar on Monday said that if the family version of the Mudasir Kamran, who was found dead in his hostel room in Hyderabad on Saturday turned out a fact in enquiry, he would consult the Indian civil society and take the issue to the people of Andhra Pradesh.

He however maintained that suicides are being committed everywhere in the country and the people of Jammu and Kashmir must wait till the enquiry report was made public.

“For now, what the establishment has been maintaining, it is a suicide; but what has made it a flash point, is disconnect and mistrust between the people of JK and rest of the country,” Padgaonkar told a news agency on Monday evening from Pune.

He elaborated and said that for last so couple of years there were numerous initiatives taken to build the trust of the people especially that of the valley and to a greater extent the goal had been achieved. He however was quick to add that the secrete execution of Afzal Guru washed away all that had been achieved and the valley were again pushed to cynicism and mistrust.

“I raised my voice even that time against denying Guru a last meet with his family,” he said.

He said that Kashmiris had been very hospitable and supportive during his visits to valley as interlocutor and added that his team had succeeded to a great extent in narrowing down the void between people of the state and the government of India. However, he admitted that Guru episode has not only halted the process but also widened the gaps once again.

He, however, said that it was not also a fact that Kashmiris are being victimised everywhere. Citing the example of his meet with Kashmiri students in his home town Pune, Padgaonker invited the separatists including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and common Kashmiris to visit Pune and see how comfortable Kashmiri students are there.

“I invite anyone from Kashmir including SAS Geelani to Pune and see how much comfortable Kashmiri students are here,” said Padgaonker.

Asked if he had plans to play any role in bridging the gaps between Kashmiris and government of India, Padgaonker said, “Certainly, but not officially. Kashmir has become part of my life and at individual level; I would do whatever is possible to see peace returning to Kashmir.”

He claimed that on the advice of his team, the union home ministry had a year back issued an advisory to all states, asking them to facilitate hassle free accommodation arrangements for Kashmiri students. (KNS)


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