Union Minister Prakash Javadekar attended the Pakistan Day celebrations here where the hardline and moderate Hurriyat factions pitched for adopting a “political approach” to resolve the Kashmir imbroglio and denounced the “brutal attitude” of the Modi dispensation.
Javadekar was at the event, where presence of his ministerial colleague V K Singh last year had drawn flak from the media, for around 20 minutes, and extended his “best wishes” to the Pakistani people on the sidelines.
Chairman of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said he had expected the current BJP-led dispensation to follow the “Vajpayee policy” towards Kashmir, but the Modi government “hardened” its position.
Farooq said any dialogue bereft of involvement of the three parties—Hurriyat, Kashmiris and Pakistan—would not succeed in resolving the issues faced by the restive border state.
“We were expecting that the BJP would go back to the Vajpayee policy. But till now there has been no such indication. On the contrary, it has hardened its position. The Kashmir issue is not any economic or law and order issue, it’s a political issue. Till the time a political approach is taken, there would not be any progress,” he told reporters at the event hosted at the Pakistan High Commission.
During his Kashmir visit in 2003, Vajpayee had said his government would hold talks with separatists on Kashmir “within the ambit of Insaniyat”, after the separatists had not agreed to hold talks within the ambit of the Constitution.
Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who was also present, said the Modi government was no different from the UPA dispensation which also had a “brutal attitude” towards Kashmir.
“India portrays itself as a democratic nation. But its behavior with the minority communities including Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits paints the opposite picture,” he said.
Asked about the delay in government formation in the state owing to differences between PDP and BJP, both Farooq and Geelani described it as a “minor” issue that would not have any effect in resolving the “actual problems”.