Pak ex-PM asked Kashmiri separatists to seek concession from New Delhi: Governor Malik

New Delhi: Satya Pal Malik, J&K Governor has recently told that Kashmiri Separatist leaders have been told to get concessions from New Delhi through dialogues by former Pakistan President Musharraf.

“He [Musharraf] told them he would not be able to change the Line [of Control]. He had told them that neither India nor Pakistan can afford a war and that they should negotiate concessions for Kashmir,” Malik told HT.

When asked if he is certain of his claims made on Huriyath conference, he said: “I am 100% sure. Important people have told me this. Musharraf told the Hurriyat to talk and negotiate agreements that would include free movement for both sides across the Line of Control.”

He added that Huriyath leaders “ do not even go to the toilet without Pakistan’s permission” stating that Kashmiri separatists act according to what they have been asked of by Pakistan.

When Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was asked about Malik’s statement, he said: “Musharraf had discussed the four-point formula that included demilitarisation and free movement across the Line of Control with us.’’

But the governor’s statement is not true. He added: “His utterances are part of the government of India’s consistent mischief of creating a false narrative on Kashmir in order to undermine its disputed nature.”

On the other hand, Malik also said that the Hurriyat Conference does have some influence in the Valley but it is scared of Pakistan and of the terrorists and is thus “caught in a web”, and that the government is willing to talk if the Separatists took an “independent stand”.

Prior to governor’s rule in the state, Modi government made attempts to initiate talks with the separatists through its interlocutor and former Intelligence Bureau chief, Dineshwar Sharma, but they have refused to come to the table.

While during Manmohan Singh’s tenure as PM, backchannel talks led to the ‘four-point formula’ that is demilitarization the region, no change of borders and people of J&K being allowed free movement across the LoC; self-governance without independence; joint supervision mechanism in J&K involving India and Pakistan.

Former Research and Analysis Wing chief and author of a book on Kashmir, AS Dulat reacting to Malik’s statement said: “What the governor is saying is correct. Musharraf did tell the Hurriyat that they (Pakistan) had tried everything and that they should come to the negotiating table. Musharraf’s formula led to Manmohan Singh saying that they were close to a breakthrough on Kashmir.”