What might have been a positive step by the Hurriyat on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir has been somewhat offset by a note of disquiet expressed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
Jammu and Kashmir separatist outfit All Parties Hurriyat Conference (moderate) said on Saturday the group had never ruled out dialogue with the Centre on what the constitutional status of the state should be.And, just two days ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to the state on Monday, Abdullah expressed doubts on Saturday on the genuineness of encounters reported from the line of control.
The context of Abdullah’s statement is the three killings in the fake encounter in Machil, 65 km north of Srinagar, by the Army.
“The Jammu and Kashmir police have been flooded with complaints questioning the genuineness of encounters, all of which are being reinvestigated,” Abdullah said.
The statement has come just days after three families from Nadihaal in north Kashmir said the boys the Army called militants were their relatives and not terrorists.
Abdullah criticised the lack of transparency in the Army, stressing that “they act as the judge, the jury and the executioner in the state”.
In an exclusive interview on Saturday, Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said: “The Hurriyat never closed its doors to dialogue, but the dialogue needs some substance and sustainability.”
“The ball is in the court of the Prime Minister,” he added.
“It is for the Prime Minister to repeal draconian laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and also address the issue of human rights with commitment to honour them.” the Mirwaiz said.