Taking a dig at Hurriyat’s invitation of “tourists” to Kashmir, BJP leader Ram Madhav on Wednesday said the separatists were more interested in welcoming “terrorists” to the state.
“I consider it a spelling mistake by Hurriyat people. They might have mistakenly said tourists in place of terrorists. They always welcome terrorists (to Kashmir),” he told reporters here.
The separatist leaders, who have been spearheading the five-month-long unrest in Kashmir, had in a surprise move on Tuesday invited tourists and pilgrims to visit the Valley to enjoy the traditional hospitality of its people while promising them safety.
The BJP National General Secretary said nobody trusted the separatists and if they were so “sincere” about peace, they should stop issuing calendars (of shutdowns).
“On one side, you (Hurriyat) preach terrorism and on the other, you issue calendars by shutting down shops, business establishments and educational institutions. Then, you do this drama of issuing statements of inviting tourists to Kashmir,” he said.
Stating that this was the “biggest hypocrisy” by the Hurriyat, Madhav said, “If they want tourists in the Valley, they should first restore peace in the Valley. But unfortunately, they are the biggest hurdle in restoration of peace and normalcy in Kashmir.”
He also hit at National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah for supporting the Hurriyat’s call in this regard and questioned the leader’s “change of mind”.
“Farooq Abdullah’s statement is very unfortunate and surprising. He is the same Farooq, who used to release statements against Hurriyat Conference in Kashmir Valley and today suddenly he wants to move forward on the path of Hurriyat,” he said.
Abdullah, while addressing his party workers at a function to commemorate the 111th birth anniversary of his father and party founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah at Hazratbal on December 5, had said his party was not against the Hurriyat and supported the Kashmiris’ demand for their rights but it would not tread the “wrong path” for achieving these goals.