National Conference patron and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah has supported the stand of the Narendra Modi government of not favouring Hurriyat leaders holding talks with Pakistan’s national security adviser (NSA) Sartaj Aziz in New Delhi.
“For the first time, the Government of India has taken a firm stand. I congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi for it,” Farooq Abdullah told Hindustan Times in an interview in Jammu on Saturday.
The NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan hang in balance with Pakistan insisting that it would not depart from the “established past practice” of interacting with separatist Hurriyat leaders.
Abdullah said Modi has sent a message to Pakistan and also to the world that Hurriyat leaders have no role in India-Pakistan relations. “This is a welcome shift,” he said.
“I think now with Modi in full control, he wants to show Pakistan and the world that the Hurriyat has no standing. And it’s for this reason that he has taken a strong posture against the proposed meeting (of the Hurriyat leaders) with Aziz,” he said.
The former chief minister has been critical of the Hurriyat Conference all along and believes that one of the purposes of their meeting with the Pakistan NSA is to collect money, either through hawala or through other channels.
“The Hurriyat is a creation of Pakistan. It is using separatists to keep its flag flying in Kashmir. The mainstream parties will never speak to Pakistan. Pakistan uses the Hurriyat and (Dukhtaran-e-Millat leader) Asiya Andrabi to show the world that they are true representatives of Kashmir. These leaders don’t dare to fight elections so how are they representatives of Kashmir?” Abdullah added.