Former Chief Minister and National Conference working President Omar Abdullah has said the "hardline strategy" followed by the PDP-BJP Government in Kashmir was a pick from a plan that was suggested by National Security Advisor AjitDoval way back in 2010.
"If you see how (Chief Minister) Mehbooba Mufti dealt with the situation in these months, she is exactly following Doval doctrine," said Omar in an exclusive chat with Greater Kashmir at his Gupkar residence here. "Every action of her, whether to deal with the separatists or protestors, is part of the Doval doctrine."
During the uprising this summer that was triggered by killing of Hizb Commander BurhanMuzaffarWani by security forces on July 8, at least 96 civilians were killed and over 15000 were injured including over 1200 youth who lost their eyes to deadly pellets.
While Kashmir witnessed months of protests in support of "azadi" with a renewed call by resistance camp as well as opposition parties for initiation of talks to resolve Kashmir, the government of India has refused to engage separatists directly or start dialogue at the external level to resolve Kashmir.
"Every word and every letter that he (Doval) spoke about at a function (in Hyderabad) on dealing with Kashmir is being implemented by Mehbooba Mufti," said Omar.
Speaking about the protests at a seminar in Hyderabad in October 2010, Doval had told policymakers "not to overreact and give in".
"The crisis will pass off. It looks big in the midst of it, they cannot sustain it beyond a point and even if they do there is a price they have to pay," Doval had said.
Omar accused the Chief Minister of being hand in glove with New Delhi to execute the strategy in Kashmir which he said was fraught with dangers.
"We all know what Mehbooba Mufti used to say during her poll campaign. But now she is no different from BJP and RSS and in fact she is following their policy on Kashmir," said Omar.
Stating that the increase in the number of local youth joining militancy in Kashmir was a concern, Omar attributed the phenomena to PDP joining hands with BJP in J&K to form the government.
"In none of our security review meetings (during my tenure) did we ever discuss BurhanWani. His name never came up for discussion," said Omar. "It was after 2014 that local youth started joining militancy and today we have reached a situation that our youth are again picking up gun," said Omar.
During the middle of uprising in Kashmir Omar led a delegation of members from opposition parties to Prime Minister NarendraModi and President Pranab Mukherjee seeking New Delhi should initiate political process on Kashmir after separatists had refused to meet a parliamentary delegation led by Union Home Ministry Rajnath Singh.
Underscoring the need for addressing both internal and external dimensions of Kashmir issue, Omar said even when India has in Simla agreement accepted role of Pakistan and the government of India in the past talked to separatists, "lack of a political initiative on part of the center is a concern."
Omar refused to draw similarity in response by Government of India to 2010 uprising and the recent five month long uprising in Kashmir following killing of Burhan.
During 2010, Omar said, New Delhi appointed interlocutor's team that came up with a detailed report on how to move forward on Kashmir resolution. "Unfortunately there was no follow up on the report by the center, but that is completely a separate issue. This time however there has been no response from both State as well as the center. This is a concern," Omar said.
To a question that the recent utterances by National Conference leadership including its President Dr Farooq Abdullah were seen as a strategy by the party to prepare ground for the upcoming local bodies' polls and elections to two parliament seats in Kashmir, Omar said his party was consistent about the demand for engaging separatists as well as Pakistan for lasting solution to Kashmir.
"This isn't something that we are demanding now. Even during my tenure I had made it clear in front of (then) Prime Minister that economic packages were not going to resolve Kashmir and the need was for a political initiative. The center can't ignore the external as well as internal dimensions of Kashmir to resolve the issue," said Omar.
He said the PDP led State Government was afraid of holding elections this time "knowing well" that people would reject them.
Omar said in 2014 when National Conference had favored rehabilitation of flood hit people to elections, the PDP pushed for polls to serve its political interests.
"Today they are also following the strategy that would suit their interests," said Omar.
He refused to disclose whether Farooq Abdullah would contests from Srinagar-Budgam Parliamentary seat which had fallen vacant after the resignation of the former PDP member Tariq Hamid Karra from LokSabha.
"We had some private conversations about the polls. But the National Conference Parliamentary Board is yet to take a call on the candidature for both seats," said Omar. The other seat is Anantnag-Pulwama LS constituency that is lying vacant after elections of Mehbooba Mufti to State Legislature earlier this year.