Srinagar: Governor Satya Pal Malik Wednesday invited Kashmiri militants to give up the arms and said they were ready to hold the talks.
“There is unemployment across the country but unemployed people (elsewhere) in the country do not pick up weapons against the government. There is something more here. The basic thing here is that the leaders have not told people the truth. People have been misled and shown false dreams, which will never be fulfilled,” the Governor said at a press conference attended by all his four advisors, chief secretary and administrative secretaries of all the government departments here at SKICC.
Governor said that the people have been shown the dream of ‘azadi’ (independence) and sometimes that of autonomy. “When these things did not work, they were shown the dreams of paradise through radicalisation. I want to tell the youth that they have two paradises — one is Kashmir and if they become good Muslims, they will get the other one also,” he said.
He said dialogue is the only way through which they can get what they want within the ambit of the Constitution.
He said India cannot be made to bow through violence.
“Take everything from us, we will give our life, but through love and dialogue. For that (PM) Narendra Modi is ready, we are ready. Come to the dialogue table and take it forward,” he said.
“Whatever you want can be achieved through talks and dialogue. You have your own constitution, you have a separate flag. Whatever more you want, you will get it through the democratic process and within the ambit of the Indian Constitution,” he said.
The governor said the militants may not realise it now, but 10 years down the line they will repent that they chose the wrong path. “You cannot make India to bow through violence,” he said. Malik said the problem of militancy exists in Kashmir not only due to unemployment among youth, but also because politicians have been misleading the people for the past several decades.
The Governor said, “These are ways of destruction of Kashmir.”
Malik exhorted the youth to give up arms. “I want to tell the youth of Kashmir, drop your guns and come to Raj Bhawan to have lunch with me. Then explain to me what good Kashmir will get from the path you have chosen,” he said.
“In every insurgency, there comes a time when fatigue sets in. That time has come in Kashmir,” he said.
“There is a realisation (in Pakistan) there that we cannot fool the youth of Kashmir for too long (saying) that we will break India to give you something. (Gen Pervez) Musharraf had told the (Kashmiri) leaders here that he cannot do it as India is a superpower,” he said.
“Whatever you want to get, take it within this system. There is demoralisation and fatigue factor in Pakistan, but still they do not give up, camps are running there as earlier,” he said. Malik said the security forces are alert and infiltrators are dealt with within 10 kilometres of the Line of Control.
“Recruitment (of militants) has come down. A big reason for that is that we have adopted a sympathetic attitude towards our youth. I believe that the Kashmir problem will be solved through these youth only,” he said. “Talks with leaders cannot do it as they have been lying to the people for past 50 years,” he added.
Asked about the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the time to hold the polls will be decided by the Election Commission (EC).
“It is between the Union Home Ministry and the Election Commission. I cannot comment on this. If the security we require for holding elections is provided to us, we are ready to hold the elections. We have held peaceful elections (panchayat and parliamentary) but for assembly elections, the security requirements are different,” he said.
The EC will decide the dates after going through the assessment of the security environment made by the concerned agencies, he said.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, who was also present at the briefing along with advisors to the governor, said the EC has given a unanimous statement that an announcement about assembly elections in the state will be made after the Amarnath Yatra.
Responding to a question about the challenge to Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, Malik said promises to this effect have been made in the manifestos of many political parties and there is a lot of talk about it, but there is “nothing to worry about” on this front.
He also dismissed the reports about delimitation of assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir as “rumours”. “There is a rumour about delimitation, it is not something that can be done overnight as it is a constitutional matter. Even the Home Ministry has not confirmed that they are doing something like this. There are basically just rumours and newspaper reports only, there is no basis to these,” he said.
He said that JK Bank would be brought under the RTI Act and CVC guidelines would be implemented by the end of this months. “The recent raids on JK Bank was after the RBI wrote to the state about governance issues in the bank,” he said.
He said there were many politicians involved in corruption. “We will give a corruption free state,” he added.
Governor Satya Pal Malik further said said that the ruling elite that was involved in corruption in Jammu and Kashmir would “face action soon.
Stressing that his dispensation was having no grudge against Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream political parties, Mr. Malik said he had repeatedly asked these local parties “not to parrot separatists.”
The Governor said corruption in Jammu and Kashmir was more prevalent than any part of the country. “There were two major cases of corruption involving ?150 crore each. I apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and got many deals cancelled where middlemen were offering kickbacks. Many powerful people, with access to the PM, were involved in it,” he said.
The Governor said the ruling elite in Jammu and Kashmir was part of the corruption. “They will be acted against soon. If this message goes that no aspirant of a bureaucrat or powerful person will be given preference in recruitment, half of terrorism will end here,” he added.
He said action against will be taken “against big fish soon.” He also said all those police officers who demanded money or other favours from the detained youth “have been removed in Kashmir.”
Around six fact-finding committees in different areas, such as sports, technical education, sports council, macadamisation, dredging and Jammu And Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation, Limited had been set up “to act against the corrupt elements through the amended powers granted to the Anti-Corruption Board [ACB]”.
Speaking about the presence of the Islamic State in Kashmir, the governor said, “These are ways of destruction of Kashmir.” (KNS)