Kashmiri Pandits have taken strong exception to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s move of roping in separatist-turned-mainstream leader Sajjad Lone. They have termed it as continuation of nurturing soft-separatism policy initiated by former prime minister AB Vajpayee and continued by Manmohan Singh.
At the start of terrorism in the valley in 1989, about 3.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits were forced to migrate from the Kashmir.
Peoples Conference chief Sajjad Lone met PM Narendra Modi on Monday before holding parleys with the senior BJP leaders including Ram Madhav — a move which drew criticism.
“The BJP had always been saying that it will hold talks with only those who shed separatism. But Lone has not made any statement to this effect. It speaks of political opportunism of the party which can go to any level to secure number for government formation,” said Panthers Party MLA and former minister Harsh Dev Singh.
Most of the KPs leaders, who are highly critical of separatists, blaming them for their migration, however, refuse to make public statement on it. Panun Kashmir chairperson Agni Shekhar said a national executive meeting will be held on Wednesday after which a statement is likely to be issued on how the issues of KPs are being handled by the BJP.
“We know their (separatists) public posturing. It has not changed even after Vajpayee doctrine of building and nurturing soft-separatism. The litmus test lies in widening national face in the valley but this policy has not yielded the desired result,” said a senior KP leader.
“Since Gul Mohammad Shah, brother in-law of Dr Farooq Abdullah who split the party and become the CM, many Kashmiri leaders having been talking of supporting nationalism but their public posturing hasn’t changed,” said a senior KP leader.
Many BJP supporters said they were doubtful if the PM and BJP chief Amit Shah were getting the right feedback from the ground.