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Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 17:22 GMT
Press question Kashmir approach
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
Mr Sayeed has been accused of being soft

The policies of the new chief minister in Indian administered-Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, were the subject of some strong comments and editorials in many Indian newspapers on Tuesday.


All concerned need to understand that the terrorists have gone into top gear

Hindustan Times
Most papers carried front-page reports on Monday's debate in the national parliament, a day after an attack on a Hindu temple in Jammu left 14 people dead.

In an editorial entitled "Mufti's honeymoon is over", The Indian Express says Mr Sayeed has to respond to the renewed violence in Kashmir with firmness and urgency.

"It is time that he thought seriously about how to secure his state because terrorism is not going to fade away of its own volition," the paper said.

The paper is also critical of Mr Sayeed's proposed olive branch to the militants.

Clear lesson

In its lead story: "Government fingers pointed at healing touch", the paper discusses Mr Sayeed's programme which includes releasing militants who have no serious charges against them.

The Statesman says the temple attack may force Mr Sayeed's coalition partner, the Congress Party, to "informally sound the chief minister...to be over cautious in his moves to release militants from jail".


Mufti's honeymoon is over

The Indian Express
Another widely circulated daily, the Hindustan Times, says the recent violence is a "bloody reminder that the merchants of death are determined to ply their trade".

"All concerned need to understand that the terrorists have gone into top gear," an editorial in the paper said.

"The centre and the state government need to join forces to defeat militancy.

"Unfortunately, we have only seen a lot of finger-pointing," it said.

Dialogue

The newspaper criticises the junior home minister, ID Swamy, for saying that the "healing touch" of the state government has started showing adverse effects.

A militant in Kashmir
Papers called for a clear Kashmir policy
But it also advises Mr Sayeed saying "the chief minister, too, needs to consult the centre on refurbishing the internal security mechanism in the state".

The Times of India offers some support to Mr Sayeed in its editorial "Terror designs".

The paper says: "For the first time in over two decades Kashmir has a government which is not a condescending gift from New Delhi but one that genuinely represents the aspirations of the people.

"Any action that strengthens the process of dialogue will automatically isolate militancy," the paper says.

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See also:

25 Nov 02 | Europe
25 Nov 02 | South Asia
25 Nov 02 | South Asia
21 Nov 02 | South Asia
23 Nov 02 | South Asia
25 Nov 02 | South Asia
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