The Modi government’s plan to send a Muslim-majority delegation to Kashmir is yet to take off, but a prominent Muslim figure said he has refused to be a part of the team.
Zafarul Islam Khan, the editor of Milli Gazette and former chief of the All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat, said he was pulling out of the delegation because the government appeared to be more focused on putting an end to stone pelting than coming up with bridge-building measures.
Khan said he was invited to have a meeting with home minister Rajnath Singh on August 21.
After the meeting, Khan said he wasn’t convinced that the government was eager on formulating confidence-building measures as much as the need to end the wave of protests.
“It was clear during our interaction that the home minister wanted the throwing of stones at security forces to stop. He did not give commitments on humanitarian gestures.”
Khan said he made three demands to help soften the protests. He suggested evacuating all injured protesters in danger of losing their sight due to pellets to Delhi for treatment. The Centre should also give compensation to those injured, he said, while a formal decision to abandon pellet guns should be announced.
“It was evident that the home minister was not ready for any confidence-building measures as of now. He did not show interest to bring the injured away from the Valley, no readiness to immediately stop pellet guns, no readiness to announce compensations.”
Although Khan was referring to the August 21 meeting, the home ministry has put the use of pellets by police under review.