According to BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the attitude of J&K Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik following his release from jail revealed that the militants would not change even if they were treated considerately.
Soon after his release, Malik had challenged the chief minister to fight an election against him from any constituency in the Kashmir valley.
"It shows that the militants are ready to bite the hand that feeds them," Naqvi told rediff.com
He said, "The policy of bowing before terrorists and separatists, instead of strengthening the development and security of the state, would not prove to be an auspicious start for the People's Democratic Party-Congress government."
"... instead of making haste and adopting an attitude of appeasement on such a critical issue, measures to safeguard national interests should be initiated [by the J&K government]," the BJP spokesman added.
He refused to comment on why two central ministers had spoken in different voices on the approach of the J&K government towards militants.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister George Fernandes had asserted that the Mufti was well within his rights to bring the militants to the national mainstream. However, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani had questioned the wisdom of the move, underlining that it could further foster terrorism.
Naqvi, when questioned about the differing statements, said, "You can ask the central government about it."
"As far as the BJP is concerned, the Congress party's resolve to fight terrorism on the one side and conciliatory efforts in favour of terrorists in Kashmir on the other side is a sharp reflection of their confused policy on the issue of national security," he said.
The difference of opinion between Advani and Fernandes proved that an important member of the National Democratic Alliance did not see eye-to-eye with the deputy prime minister on the issue.
"Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent assertion that Al Qaeda terrorists could well be operating in [Pakistan-occupied] Kashmir should have sent alarm bells ringing among our rulers. The fact that he [Fernandes] chose to come to the J&K chief minister's rescue on his government's approach towards militants has more to do with politics," said a senior official of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
"Make no mistake, the [central] government will give a long rope to its J&K counterpart... But should things go awry, we do have contingency plans," he said on condition of anonymity.
The Election in J&K: The Complete Coverage
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