New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday lauded the security forces of the Valley for their sustained efforts that have led to a significant drop in militant activities and stone-pelting.

Speaking at a function, Guv Malik said, “Stone pelting after Friday prayers have almost stopped. We want to bring the youth back to the mainstream. Schemes are being thought for that. But it is true that if there is firing from the front then you can’t give bouquets. General sa’ab will reply to bullets with bullets.”

He added:

He also threw weight behind separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who recently voiced concerns over the rising drug menace in the state and said, ” I am happy that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has spoken against drugs, it is a big menace here. This is spreading among the youth here. The situation is bad in Jammu, Punjab is getting destroyed due to this.”

Guv Satya Pal Malik also said that the separatist Hurriyat leaders are ready for talks with the government.

Speaking at a function in Srinagar during the distribution of free-to-air Doordarshan set-top boxes to border residents, Malik said earlier the same Hurriyat leaders were shutting their doors on dialogue but are now ready for talks with the government.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Malik had complimented security forces for “tremendous improvement” in the overall situation in the militancy-hit state during the last one year. He chaired the Unified Headquarters meeting in Srinagar and reviewed the security situation. The Unified Headquarters is the apex security grid in the state.

An official statement said on Friday: “The meeting deliberated on various important issues relating to the internal and external security situation in the state.

“The Governor expressed satisfaction over security management in the past year, despite continuing challenges on many fronts. He stressed the need for close and effective coordination among all security forces and intelligence agencies to maintain peace and order in the state,” the statement said.

With IANS inputs