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Hurriyat’s desire to talk is encouraging: Guv

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“We’re pained when a youth is killed but can’t offer bouquet of flowers to those who fire”

Srinagar, Jun 22: Governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday said the situation in the Valley had vastly improved over the past year and claimed that the Hurriyat Conference was willing to enter into a dialogue with the government.

“Hurriyat leaders who once shut doors on Ram Vilas Paswan when he approached them for dialogue are now ready for talks. This is an encouraging sign,” Governor said at a function at SKICC here.

“Ram Vilas Paswan was standing at their door (in 2016), but they were not ready to talk,” Malik said, adding "today, they are ready for talks and want to hold dialogue. There is a change in everyone."

He also hailed Hurriyat-M chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for speaking on the drug menace.

Malik said Hurriyat’s “proactive role” in addressing social issues must be welcomed.

Malik said the situation in Kashmir had improved ever since he took over as the Governor last August, adding that recruitment of militants had almost stopped and stone-pelting incidents on Fridays had ended.

"I feel good that the temperature (of the situation) has come down significantly since the day I arrived here," he said.

"We do not feel good when a youth is killed, we want to bring him back. There is a lot of thought being given as to what kind of scheme is needed to bring them back," Malik said. "But when someone opens fire, the security forces will fire back. They would not present a bouquet of flowers."

The Governor hinted that it was not easy to assess the situation of Kashmir while sitting elsewhere in the country even if one had served or lived in the Valley for some time.

"When I visit Delhi, there are so many people who claim to be Kashmir hand. I ask them when were you in Kashmir. They say 15 years ago," he said. "Kashmir changes in 15 days, you do not know anything. If you want to know Kashmir, live there and see it."

Malik said when he came to the state he decided not to listen only to intelligence people. "I am in touch with around 200 people and from them I have come to know about the problems. The diseases have been diagnosed, the diseases are plenty but these can be cured. The narrative can be changed, the prerequisite is that the intentions are good and sincere on both sides," he added.

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