Kashmir witnessing unprecedented situation: Mehbooba
‘Delhi’s Approach Inhumane’
Srinagar, Aug 23: Calling for an unconditional dialogue to solve the Kashmir problem, Peoples Democratic Party chief, Mehbooba Mufti, on Monday termed New Delhi’s approach towards Kashmir as “unfortunate and far from humane.”
“The current situation in Kashmir is unprecedented in its character and dimension. No peaceful agitation has ever met with such disproportionate response in the past. The state has withdrawn into a cocoon of perceived self preservation and employed all forces to carry out a war on its population. This war is now assuming more sinister and inhuman dimensions,” Mehbooba told reporters at her Gupkar residence here.
She said the Government of India talks about initiating dialogue on Kashmir but sets pre-conditions. “They say that Kashmir is 63 years old problem but won’t talk without conditions. Unless Kashmir is treated as political and human issue by the Prime Minister, it can’t be resolved,” she said.
“Kashmiris are fighting for their rights and for justice for the past 63 years. The ongoing unrest has shown that Kashmiris can’t be forced to surrender to defeat neither through intimidation and nor through economic packages,” Mehbooba said and added that it is nearly three months now that the entire population of Kashmir is facing a full-fledged siege.
“We will not approach the centre with a begging bowl. We want Kashmiris should be given their rights. There should be an unconditional dialogue in a dignified way to solve the issue,” said Mehbooba, flanked by senior party members, Muhammad Dillawar Mir, Iftikhar Hussain Ansari and party’s chief spokesman Naeem Akthar.
She said state government and government of India have “empowered Kashmiris with the weapon of fearlessness” and it would be wrong on their part to assume that they could be suppressed with the use of force.
“No matter which weapon do you import from Israel for use in Kashmir and which force do you deploy on the streets of Valley, situation will not improve unless those responsible for the killings are held accountable,” said Mehbooba referring to use of recently brought pellet guns and Rapid Action Force in the Valley.
She warned that PDP would come on roads if the government didn’t stop killings, harassment of people, crackdowns and arrests.
“We thought that in view of the holy month of Ramadan there will be some sort of let up in atrocities by government forces against people. But killings continue, people are being arrested, crackdowns have re-surfaced, and womenfolk are being humiliated for pleading release of their kith and kin. Whenever there is call for shutdown (by separatists) government clamps down curfew to bring sufferings to people. But it is unfortunate that the government of India is silently watching it,” she said.
She called for release of all Kashmiri youth and separatist leaders, and revocation of Armed Forces Special Power Act and resumption of dialogue process respectively as short and long term measure to solve Kashmir.
Lashing out at Omar Abdullah led NC-Congress coalition government, Mehbooba said the deployment of Rapid Action Force and use of “dreaded” pellet guns have been “new gift” of government to people. “These guns are more dangerous and are used against wild animals.”
She said government was claiming that it is concerned about loss of lives but nobody was held accountable for such grave human right abuses. “Government could have set an example by punishing culprits in Islamabad as it was a clear cut case of human rights violation where the victims were murdered inside a house. If no action was taken there how could we accept any action in other cases,” she said.
She said it was nearly three months now that the entire population of Kashmir is facing a siege like situation. “Curfews, shootings, hartals and widespread used of force have resulted in 63 deaths till date,”
Replying to a question she alleged that government had totally become defunct and irrelevant. She accused the National Conference of limiting Kashmir issue to transfer of power. “Even Sheikh Sahab thought on same lines but the problem was not solved,” Mehbooba said.
She said her party had been receiving suggestions from parents that annual examination should be deferred till March next so that students get time in winters to prepare themselves for the examinations.
Naeem Akthar said government has let loose the SOG and Ikhwanis in different areas of the Valley. “They are harassing people and even some latest killings have been ascribed to them,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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