DEFENCE MINISTER DISTURBS KASHMIR WITH 'TERRORIST TO KILL TERRORIST' STATEMENT
Union Defence Minister
SRINAGAR : Union Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar’s statement on using "terrorists to kill terrorists" didn't go down well in Jammu and Kashmir with the opposition and separatists hitting out at the BJP as well as the coalition government for trying to push Kashmir back to the early nineties.
"We have to neutralise terrorists through terrorists only. Why can't we do it? We should do it. Why does my soldier have to do it?" Parrikar had said in New Delhi, hours ahead of his two-day visit to the state for reviewing the security.
Hitting out at the BJP as well as its coalition partner in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party, Congress MLA and former State Minister, Rigzin Jora, sought explanation from the Defence Minister.
"What does he mean when he says a terrorist can neutralise terrorist? Does he mean the state government should revive the notorious counter-terrorist outfit?," Jora asked.
The statement of Parrikar, a senior BJP leader, has again put the PDP patron and J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in a fix, whose party wants to initiate talks with militants for resolving the Kashmir issue.
It also underlines the growing differences between the two parties who have been speaking in contradictory tones ever since the new government took office on the promises of "development" and "peace" in March this year.
Last week, PDP president, Mehbooba Mufti, threw her weight behind pro-Pakistan Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Geelani in the row over his passport while the BJP objected to issuing him the travel documents and demanded apology from him.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah accused Sayeed of trying to revive the era of early nineties when a local militia called Ikhwanis, sponsored by New Delhi, aided the armed forces in carrying out brutal counter-insurgency operations.
"Looks like Mufti Syed (CM) is reviving & empowering the Ikhwanis. That's the only way to carry out "terrorists killing terrorists" policy of MOD," Omar tweeted.
Smelling a conspiracy, Congress's Jora said this could be a clandestine plan to revive the Ikhwanis.
"The defence minister, given his lack of experience in handling such clandestine missions, leaked out the information inadvertently," Jora said.
Separatist groups accused the Centre of reviving the culture of violence in Kashmir at a time when insurgency is at its lowest.
"It is a self-goal by the defence minister on how India has ruled Kashmir over the last 25 years," a spokesperson of the group said.
Democratic Freedom Party's Shabir Ahmad Shah said Parrikar's statement reveal the 'true intentions' of India. "It also exposes that the deal between Mufti and BJP which is meant to kill the struggling masses of Kashmir," he said.
The statement was also condemned by the CPI (M) leader MY Tarigami as well as controversial lawmaker and MLA Langate, Engineer Rasheed. Rasheed said Parrikar’s remarks show that BJP has started showing its “true colours.”
“Parrikar’s threat to sponsor terrorists speaks of his arrogance and disrespect towards human rights. It is also a confession that Indian Army and other agencies lack professional skills and have not been able to control militancy, despite all the atrocities,” he said.