JAMMU: Great development that unfolded in New Delhi on Saturday, which led to cancellation of the scheduled National Security Advisor-level talks between the bleeding India and aggressor Pakistan must have disappointed BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister in the Mufti Sayeed government. The reasons are not difficult to fathom. Dy CM, who works in tandem with Chief Minister, had perhaps never expected that the Indian Foreign Office (IFO), under the effective leadership of Sushma Swaraj, would adopt a line on the Pakistani agents — based in Srinagar — different from that of the coalition government in J and K. It acted otherwise and very effectively appreciating the mood of the nation and the country’s long-term sovereign and strategic interests, which must have caused discomfort to the Dy CM.
The government in which he is number two and who also heads the crucial Coordination Committee that takes important policy decisions had on Friday taken a disturbing policy decision that it would not arrest or put under house arrest pro-Pak elements like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabir Shah, Yasin Malik, to mention only a few, and allow them to travel to Delhi so that these traitors could meet with the visiting Pakistani NSA and give him “vital” inputs concerning the prevailing situation in the Valley, which could help Islamabad internationalise the otherwise settled issue. A day before, the coalition government did put under house arrest a couple of Hurriyat leaders and also had Malik arrested but they were set free within two hours under pressure from “someone”.
It is obvious that the Dy CM was kept in the loop as before. Even otherwise, he would not have opposed the decision. For, he is on record having said that his master in the government “loves all the BJP ministers”, “he is a visionary and great statesman” and “he is overwhelmed by his administrative acumen and style of functioning”. That was the reason he didn’t raise even his little finger when his master told media persons in Jammu in May that “AIIMS will be established in Kashmir and Artificial Tawi Lake Project could be shelved for technical and financial reasons”.
It is too well-known that the Dy CM wants the coalition government to complete its full term at any cost and he turns furious when media persons question the official policy towards Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists. Only on Friday, he had rebuffed certain media persons who asked him to explain his stand on the now-cancelled-talks. He had said talks must be held with Pakistan. Significantly, the visible upset Dy CM remained mum when asked to clear his stand on the Pakistani insistence that talks must be held on the “core issue of Kashmir” and “Hurriyat leaders be allowed to meet with the Pakistan NSA before he meets with his Indian counterpart for talks”. His stoic silence clearly meant that he shared the view of his Kashmiri master.
The bottom-line is that the flexible and accommodating Dy CM wanted the IFO to toe the J and K Government’s line. Not only he, there were many who speak for the BJP high command and the BJP-led NDA Government, had also taken on certain serious and searching media persons. They didn’t oppose the Pakistani insistence on meetings with Hurriyat leaders. In fact, some of them told media persons that joining a tea party didn’t mean a political meeting with the visiting Pakistan NSA. “The Pakistan High Commission has invited Hurriyat leaders to join the reception function and not for seeking their views on the Kashmir issue,” they had said, and added that “they (media persons) were unnecessarily creating hype on a non-issue”.
However, it was Sushma Swaraj who upset the applecart of the Dy CM and his ilk. She candidly and boldly told Islamabad that she would deal with the issue in her own style and not allow talks to take place in case it insisted on discussion on Kashmir and meeting with Hurriyat leaders. It was for Islamabad to make a choice between India and Hurriyat and she will uphold the national interest come what may was her stand. Her firm stand was that she would not allow Pakistan to go against the spirit of Shimla Agreement (1972) that had said Kashmir was a bilateral issue and would also remain firm on her stand that the Ufa (Russia) declaration (July 2015) didn’t contemplate any discussion on Kashmir. Not just this, the IFO used the services of the agencies to ensure that no Hurriyat leader was able to reach Pakistan High Commission. The Delhi Police under the direction of the IFO and Union Home Ministry arrested Shabir Shah and Bilal Lone the moment they landed at the International Airport, New Delhi.
Sushma Swaraj indeed played the most crucial role and left the Dy CM and others of his type in a state of shock. He must be singing in the strain of a swan after what she did. For, what she did has not gone down well with his master, Pakistan and Hurriyatwallas. In fact, what she did in the larger national interest has all the potential of destabilising the present dispensation in J and K, something the Dy CM would never like for obvious reason.
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