After two back-to-back terror attacks, at Rajbagh police station in Kathua and an Army camp in Samba, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Sunday sent a strong message to Pakistan asking it to rein in “non-State actors” if it wanted to have peace and friendship with India.
He added that a message had to go to it from “our country’s strongest and most powerful Assembly that incidents like Samba and Kathua won’t be tolerated any more. Roots of democracy have grown stronger in the state.”
Calling the attacks a conspiracy to derail the peace process after the successful Assembly elections, Sayeed said during Question Hour in the Assembly, “If Pakistan and its establishment want to work with us and have friendship, then they have to further strengthen the atmosphere of peace created after the massive participation of people in the democratic process here by reining in such forces. There is no other option.”
“Reining in non-State actors is the only way to have peace and this is how it happened in the (Pervez) Musharraf regime in Pakistan,” Sayeed added.
His choice of words, apparently absolving the Pakistan government for the attacks, drew some comment in the House. “What you mean by calling terrorists non-State actors? A terrorist is a terrorist and calling him a non-State player does not lessen his crime,” said Congress legislator Nawang Rigzin Jora.
Talking about his previous government, from 2002 to 2005, Sayeed said, “Not a single such incident had taken place, from Kathua to Kargil.” In the past three years though, there had been a spurt in incidents, he added, talking about the beheading of an Indian soldier at Chakhan Da Bagh in Poonch.
“We have invested a lot in the peace process… There are some rogue elements which, in the name of religion, are carrying out such acts. These elements will not be allowed to damage the fabric of peace in the state,” the CM said.
Calling the recent Assembly polls free, fair and transparent, he said these had restored people’s faith in democratic institutions of the state and country. “I urge all the people to allow the state to reap the rich dividends of peace, for which steps have been taken by the government of India,” he said, adding that the need of the hour is to strengthen the voices of dialogue and reconciliation.
Earlier, slogans of “Pakistan hai hai” rent the air as members from both the Treasury and Opposition benches in the Assembly expressed concern over the attacks in Samba and Kathua districts.
Later, the House unanimously passed a resolution condemning the attacks, and asked the Centre to take up the matter with Pakistan.