‘Malik Has Adopted Gandhian Persona’
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has claimed that Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah exercised restraint over the issue of Muhammad Afzal Guru “to ensure that no other separatist icon becomes bigger than him.”
“Yes, it is very possible, it is very possible,” Omar told India Today when asked had Geelani been relatively reticent on Afzal Guru as it is being said that he doesn’t want another separatist icon bigger than him.
Omar said Kashmir seems to be now out of the woods on the Afzal Guru front. “By and large on the law and order front too, things are all right. There is the occasional attempt by separatists to have a weekly calendar with a day of protests and stone-pelting on Fridays. But as long as we can handle these chhut-putt (minor) law and order disturbances without any major problems, we will be all right,” he said.
He said the separatists like Yasin Malik were reticent on the return of youth from across under the Rehabilitation Policy, “as he (Malik) is himself relaxing at his home.”
“It is all very well for him (Malik) because he has come back and adopted this Gandhian persona. He wants everybody to forget his antecedents. That is very convenient for him because he is relaxing at home. He is the one who encouraged these people to go (to PaK). He was their role model. If he were sitting in the sort of conditions they are in, he wouldn’t be talking like this. We are as much responsible for this lot as we are for the younger generation of Kashmiris,” Omar said.