BJP cuts ties with PDP: Mehbooba Mufti was lonely at the top, stays lonely at the bottom

Mehbooba Mufti had the chance to repair the damage after her father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, died while in office, but she took centre stage, and swiftly moved from being a soft separatist to being what many in Kashmir called an ultranationalist. Driving through the picturesque countryside in South Kashmir, where she was campaigning for the 2014 assembly elections, Mehbooba Mufti was clear about one thing. “There is no question of allying with the BJP. We have nothing in common,’’ she told me as she hopped in and out of the…

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End of the affair in J&K: Why BJP dumped PDP

The scale of security operations in the Valley, a deteriorating law and order situation, increased cases of attack on security personnel and feedback from party leaders made the BJP decide to pull out, sources say. The decision of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to withdraw from the Jammu and Kashmir government stemmed from its desire to protect its “core support base”, especially in Jammu, avoid future “political costs” at the national level that would have come with staying on in the alliance in the run-up to the 2019 general elections,…

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Five point formula baseline for talks: Separatist Groups

With clamour rising over talks, an amalgam of separatist groups headed by Syed Ali Geelani said on Tuesday that the five-point formula of 2010 provides a “baseline” for dialogue with New Delhi. GA Gulzar, the chief spokesman of Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference, said the five-point formula which was presented by the separatist amalgam during the 2010 unrest provided “a baseline for any dialogue.” The five points proposed by Geelani in 2010 include repeal of “black laws”, demilitarisation of the populated area, release of political prisoners, recognition of Kashmir dispute and punishment…

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Seize offer for dialogue, Mehbooba Mufti to Resistance Camp

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has again asked all stakeholders, including separatists, to come forward and respond to the Centre’s offer of talks amid the ongoing Ramadan ceasefire and play their role in restoring peace in the state. She said the cessation of operations by the security forces against militants during the holy month provided relief to the people of Kashmir. She said amid the ceasefire, the offer for talks made by Home Minister Rajnath Singh hinted at the initiation of a political process in the state. The Chief Minister was…

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Change in GOI’s policy our victory, Not in hurry to respond to Delhi’s talks offer: Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said the big U-turn by New Delhi on its “rigid stand on dialogue” is result of sacrifices of Kashmiri youth and asserted that separatist leadership was in no hurry to respond to Delhi’s dialogue offer but would respond after due deliberations. “If this new approach of New Delhi is result of “change in policy” or “change in circumstances”, we welcomed it earlier and will continue to welcome. But we are not in hurry. Hurriyat Conference and Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) are not…

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Stone Pelting cases against minors to be dropped: Rajnath Singh

The Centre has made the decision to withdraw stone-throwing cases against minors in the Valley, said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday, while asking youth to shun the ‘path of destruction’. Rajnath said he saw a ray of hope in the youth which was possible by their active participation in sports activities, besides studies. He announced huge sops for sports infrastructure development in the state. “As far as the question of our children is concerned, I want to say that children are children. Anybody can mislead them but we…

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How can talks happen when leaders speak in different voices: Omar Abdullah

“How can we galvanize Hurriyat leaders for talks when different BJP leaders at centre speak in different voices over the possible talks with separatists,” former Chief Minister and the National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah said while addressing party workers during a convention at Dak Bungalow Baramulla on Thursday. Omar said various voices are emerging from different leaders of BJP at centre which makes the talk about the talks ambiguous. “The union Home Minister who is on a two days visit to Kashmir says we are ready for talks. However,…

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GOI concerned about future of Kashmir youth, will change fate and face of Kashmir: Rajnath Singh

Home minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the Narendra Modi government will change the “fate and face” of Jammu and Kashmir, but urged the youth to work towards changing their own fate. Speaking at a Sports Conclave in Srinagar, Singh said the government has a “lot of love for Kashmir”, and asked the youth to take advantage of the opportunities being provided by the Centre and state government. “Many sporting talents have been lost in the dark for many years in this state. Now, we are giving opportunities to the…

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Ex-DIG, four others to spend 10 years in jail for 2006 Sex Scandal

A special court on Wednesday sentenced five convicts—two high-ranking police officers among them—to 10 years imprisonment for raping a minor in a 12-year-old case from Jammu & Kashmir. KC Padhi, a former deputy inspector general of the Border Security Force, and Mohammad Ashraf Mir, former deputy superintendent of police, were among those who were found guilty in a case that dated back to 2006. The case, known as the J&K sex scandal, made news headlines when police came across CDs of two minor girls sexually exploited in 2006. When questioned,…

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Govt, Hurriyat may talk in renewed peace push in J&K

In the upcoming meeting with home minister Rajnath Singh, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is expected to strongly recommend extending the suspension of security operations in the state for another two months. The ground is being laid for a meeting between the Centre’s special representative to Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, and the separatist leadership in the Valley, government officials and the separatists have independently confirmed, even as New Delhi makes renewed efforts to restore peace in a region where violence has peaked in recent weeks. “The meeting…

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