In what could trigger a row, senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz on Friday said the decision to kill Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was not one he would have chosen, saying it would have been better to have had a dialogue with him. “Mere bas mein hota toh Burhan Wani ko zinda rakhta aur unse dialogue karta (If it were up to me, Burhan Wani would have been kept alive and a dialogue would have taken place), the Congress MP said.
Burhan Wani, regarded as the top Hizbul leader in the Valley, was killed by security personnel on July 8 last year. His killing resulted in violent protests in the Valley that continued for months leading to the death of nearly 100 protesters with many being severely injured. In July that year, Soz had suggested that the government withdraw the ‘draconian’ AFSPA law from the Valley and initiate a dialogue with ‘opinion leaders’ in Kashmir.
The BJP, reacting to Soz’s remarks, said terrorists should always be treated as terrorists. “The government has to ensure peace, it is our aim to destroy them (terrorists),” MoS Home Hansraj Ahir said. Jammu Kashmir Deputy CM Nirmal Singh asked: “people who call terrorists leaders, do they want to glorify them? Terrorists will always be treated like terrorists.
In May this year, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: “We have come up with a permanent solution to solve Kashmir. The initiative has begun. We are moving forward.” Singh, however, refused to elaborate on what kind of solution the government has found. Pressed further, on whether the solution was “political in nature”, Rajnath Singh said: “It is too early to discuss it in public. I don’t want to discuss it with the media.”