Opposition Peoples Democratic Party patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Thursday said his party wasn’t in favour of toppling the present National Conference-Congress coalition in the state. “We are not there to topple the government. It is a small issue, but our aim is too high. Our aim is to get people of J&K out of the present quagmire,” Mufti told a public meeting in Khan Sahib area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks on Kashmir situation at his press meet yesterday Mufti said the Government of India must look beyond seasonal management of Kashmir and introduce wide ranging action on the internal dimension of the problem.
Stressing that internal and external dimensions have to be addressed simultaneously he said, “There was a need for shunning the compartmentalized approach as internal mistrust, underdeveloped democratic space, development deficit and governance crisis loomed large over the state,” he said.
Mufti said that sacrifices of Kashmiri youth inspired New Delhi and Islamabad to revive dialogue process which had been derailed after 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
Mufti cautioned against mistaking the yearning for peace in the state ‘as a compromise on the democratic right of people to demand a lasting resolution of J&K issue.’
He said if there is a shift in the stances on Kashmir that lead to resumption of dialogue it was because of the sacrifices constantly offered by youth and especially those during last year’s turmoil. “It convinced policy planners of the futility of trying to push the problem under carpet in the hope of it vanishing without resolving it,” he added.
The PDP patron welcomed the resumption of talks on Kashmir and other issues between India and Pakistan and said it needs to be taken to logical conclusion through solid action on actual resolution. “Unless that is done, peace in Kashmir will remain fragile and the surface calm would only be deceptive and vulnerable to breach,” he said.
Mufti claimed that despite having just 16 MLAs in 2002, ‘PDP tried to change the destiny of the people of J&K.’
“I changed perception of then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and then Home Minister, L K Advani about Kashmir. I told them that POTA and STF can’t solve the problem. And I motivated them to offer hand of friendship to Pakistan in 2003,” he said.
The PDP patron claimed that 70 percent people voted for his party in the recently concluded panchayat polls. “PDP will change the destiny of people of J&K. Kashmir will become a bridge for Indo-Pak friendship,” he added.
Mufti said it is the people of a place who ensure security and the state has only to provide the right environment for their involvement. “J&K is no exception to that rule and every time the state showed signs of accommodation the people did not lag behind in responding to such measures” he said and regretted that the present dispensation had abandoned its duty on political and governance fronts. “They have left everything to police and security agencies, with obvious results that are disastrous for the people”, he said.
Referring to continued imprisonment of political leaders and youth, Mufti said peace cannot be enforced through denial of liberties. He said the drama around the conditional release and reported re arrest of Qazi Yaser of Islamabad was symbolic of the attitude and arrogance of the government. “How could a government be so heartless and claim to be democratic” he wondered while expressing his anguish at the pain of the young Qazi’s loss who had earlier suffered the trauma of his father’s assassination. The government is not allowing prisoners even to see their loved ones on death bed and then trying to make a tamasha of some small mercies which remain confined to mere announcements in monarchical ‘hukm e nawab taa dar e nawab’ style Mufti added.
Others who addressed the meeting included MLA Dr Mohd Shafi, senior leader Gh Nabi Lone Hanjura, District President Saifudin Bhat, Youth General Secretary Nazir Ahmed Yatoo, Ishtiyaq Qadri, Nisar Ahmed Mandoo, Molvi Maqbool and Molvi Shamsudin.