A day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced that the Centre is ready to talk “within the ambit of humanity” on Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi skipped a mention of Kashmir during his public rallies at Leh and Kargil.
The separatists were disappointed. “We expected the BJP to be more forthcoming, more bold and politically more courageous,” Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told The Indian Express. “Probably they have elections in mind. They have in mind the Hindu vote bank of Jammu or Buddhist voters in Ladakh,” he said.
Mirwaiz said the Kashmir issue cannot be resolved by developmental initiatives and it seems the BJP still doesn’t have a clear policy on Kashmir. Yasin Malik, chairman of JKLF, said the BJP-led government was not serious about resolving the Kashmir issue. “They want to retain Kashmir by military suppression and corruption,” he said. The Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani refused to comment on Modi’s visit saying they had no expectations from it.
Though the separatists criticised Modi, the Valley’s two largest parties were guarded in their reaction. “I don’t think it was the occasion to talk about Kashmir,” National Conference general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said. PDP MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig said: “Why should he (Modi) talk about Kashmir.”
Congress vice-president Abdul Gani Vakil, attacked the Modi government saying it is run on the dictates of the RSS. “He (Modi) has been advised by RSS not to speak about Kashmir,” Vakil said.