Satya Pal Malik

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Unlike his predecessor, Governor Satya Pal Malik, loves to remain in news. Last time, Malik made headlines when he predicted Srinagar’s mayor even before the final phase of ULB’s election was over. But this time Malik has landed in controversy by suggesting that local political parties in the state have no right to dictate when to hold talks with Pakistan.

Malik while inaugurating Sri Pratap Singh (SPS) Library said that “No one has right to dictate to us to hold dialogue with Pakistan; that is our prerogative.”

The first one to react to Malik’s remarks was senior Congress leader and former Union Finance minister P Chidambaram who took a dig at Governor Malik, saying the country’s governors are the new viceroys.

In a series of tweets, the former finance and home minister said: “J&K Governor says political parties have no right to talk about India-Pakistan talks. He is probably a votary of ‘partyless democracy’ or ‘no democracy’ at all. “

“We were told that the last viceroy was Lord Mountbatten. Wrong. Appointed Governors and Lieutenant Governors are the new Viceroys,” Chidambaram tweeted.

Earlier two main regional political parties, National Conference and Peoples Democratic party, also criticized the governor Malik over his comments.

The national conference rejected the assertion of Governor Malik wherein he had negated the role of local parties favouring peace process.

“People of Jammu and Kashmir are the primary stakeholders and that National Conference is the largest political dispensation will continue to highlight the issues that concern our people. We have been the advocates of dialogue, both internal and external, since long before Governor Malik assumed office and we will continue to advocate it after his tenure as well,” Chief spokesperson of the NC Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi said.

The PDP also criticised Malik’s remark. Party’s chief spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir said, “The party is not a feckless sycophant but the representative of peoples aspirations. PDP since its inception has been in the forefront pitching for dialogue and reconciliation between the two countries so that a new era of peace is ushered in the state of Jammu and Kashmir that has been witnessing mayhem and bloodshed for decades.”

He said, “The state Governor must bear this glaring reality in mind that it is the people of Kashmir who have been bearing the brunt of hostilities between India and Pakistan and due to such arch rivalry between the two countries, the state has been converted into a war zone where death has become a permanent headline.”

– Tahir Bhat

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