Kashmiri leaders slam BJP’s Ram Madhav for tough military position

BJP general secretary had said government will neutralise every militant in the valley. Critics said he does not understand the Kashmir problem.

Criticizing senior BJP leader Ram Madhav’s call for a muscular crackdown on militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, politicians and security experts Monday said that only dialogue can end the spurt in violence in the troubled state.

Speaking at ThePrint’s ‘Off The Cuff’ event with Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta and Editor, Opinion and Social Media Rama Lakshmi, in Mumbai on Sunday, Madhav had said the government would “neutralise” every militant in the valley who held a gun & that it does not distinguish between an “Indian militant and a foreign militant”.

Madhav also said that separatist leaders in the Valley were not sincere and that there was no question of talks as long as they supported militancy.

Former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) A.S. Dulat said such an approach will not be effective.

“A militaristic approach has been tried in the past. And it is effective only in containing militancy, not ending it,” Dulat said.

In the Hurriyat, Dulat said, only Yasin Malik had picked up a gun.

“The others only have a different belief. And everyone is entitled to a belief, like Mr. Madhav is. Why does nobody understand that Kashmiris want peace more than anyone else?” Dulat asked.  He referred to the Hizbul commander’s call this weekend for the hanging of Hurriyat leaders because the group describes the Kashmir conflict as a political problem.

“So much for the Hurriyat and terrorism,” Dulat said.

In a scathing attack on Madhav, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik said the “people who have an ideology of turning minorities in India into second class citizens cannot be trusted to resolve a vexed human issue like Jammu Kashmir.” He said that Kashmiris will continue their freedom struggle.

On Madhav’s comments that some of the stone pelters in the Valley were “misguided” youth, Malik called it an “old Indian ploy”.

“It has been an old Indian ploy to dub every Kashmiri resistance and struggle as sponsored. Indian rulers have been hoodwinking Indian public opinion by such false propaganda. Today male and female students of Kashmir have stood up against Indian oppression and aggression and are resisting Indian might with small stones in their hands,” he added.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader from the state and former union minister, Saifuddin Soz, underlined the need for a broad-based dialogue.

He said Madhav “should know how militancy is tackled, and why youth take to such extreme measures. It is not only in Kashmir but we’ve seen this even in the case of Naxalites.”

“The writing on the wall is clear, Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to open dialogue in J&K. He also needs to hold talks with separatists. Until then, people like Ram Madhav will speak what they want to,” Soz said,

Shabir Shah, Hurriyat leader, claimed statements like the ones made by Madhav would only further alienate the people of Jammu and Kashmir further.

“Such hard statements just fuel the feeling of alienation. The way forward is dialogue, not guns,” Shah said. “There is no radicalisation in Kashmir. Rather there is deep feeling of alienation. When you don’t talk to people, people feel alienated.”


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