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Pakistan, separatists thwarted peace process: Mehbooba

Jammu : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today blamed Pakistan, and the separatists for derailing the dialogue process by shutting doors on the All Party Delegation, saying the preparations for the Valley unrest were done beforehand.

The preparations for the five-month long unrest in Kashmir were made in advance and when the triggers like separate Kashmiri Pandit Colony and Sainik Colony did not work, the killing of Burhan Wani triggered the unrest, she said.

“The Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Lahore and it was followed by Pathankot terrorist attack and today in Jurian. Entire nation had their eyes on those (separatists) doors and the nation was breathless to see the outcome and several senior leaders went to meet them. They could have opened the doors,” Mehbooba said while replying to the discussion on the Kashmir unrest in the state Assembly.

She said that had the separatists opened their doors, it could have led to the start of a dialogue.

“A message would have gone and they (separatists) would have told the All Party Delegation what they have done in the past and what steps have they taken to resolve the issue,” she said.

Referring to the unrest in Kashmir, which left several people dead and many injured, the chief minister said that the unrest took place under a “well-planned conspiracy”.
“Earlier they used the issue of separate Kashmiri Pandit Colony and then Sainik Colony to trigger the unrest but when they failed, this (Burhan Wani’s killing) provided them the trigger they wanted to instigate unrest,” Mehbooba said.

“Preparations (for the unrest) were made in advance as from the very next day slogans were being raised in the mosques and large number of CDs was distributed,” she said.

“Some elements” used small kids as shield and pushed them inside security force camps and police stations, she added.

It is easy to say that security forces could have exercised restrain but when a mob attacks a police station with petrol bombs, stones and axes, it becomes difficult to exercise restraint, Mehbooba said.

Claiming that said that the injured were not allowed to go to hospitals, she said that pregnant ladies were asked to show their baby bumps to prove their pregnancy to got the hospitals.

“Many school children did not go to the school in uniform as they feared they would be attacked. Several students who went to give examinations were accompanied by their mothers who were carrying doctor’s prescriptions to show them (protesters) that they were going to see the doctors. They were so much scared,” she added.
The Chief Minister said that she wants the walls of hate to fall down and let hearts meet.

“Despite several provocations, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh went to Pakistan but was it the way they should have treated him like this,” Mehbooba said.
370 people were arrested under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and the government will review their cases but the process had to be shelved due to the unrest and will begin soon. There were 138 others who were lodged in jails, she said.

Apealing to the Opposition to help her “heal” the wounds of the people, she said, “I strongly feel that the situation was not sudden and going on for several years. My request is that be it 2010 or 2016 it should not have happened, either on your time or ours. Help us to heal the wounds of the people and to bring them out of this,” she said.

On the allegations that preparations were not made to handle the situation post the Burhan Wani encounter, Mehbooba said that the encounter happened all of sudden and immediately curfew was declared but it could not be fully imposed as large number of security forces were deployed for the Amarnath yatra.

“Even the Army avoids an encounter if they feel that collateral damage will be high,” she added.

Mehbooba asseerted that her government is committed to bring the youth of Kashmir, who have taken guns, to the mainstream.

“I am committed that those who want to return and are not indulged in any terrorist activity want to come back, we would help them come back in mainstream,” she said.

In the six encounters that took place in the past two months, six boys surrendered after their families appeal to them.

“One of them was not even knowing how to fire a bullet,” the chief minister said.

PTI