`Marooned in its own blood, Kashmir needs bold response’
Mehbooba for unconditional dialogue
GK NEWS NETWORK
New Delhi, Sep 15: Asserting that Kashmir is marooned in its own blood and there was no scope for any delay, Jammu and Kashmir’s principal opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to announce an “unconditional dialogue” in Kashmir to resolve the situation in the disturbed state.
“We appeal to the prime minister to go for unconditional dialogue,” PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti told reporters at the end of an all-party meeting on Kashmir that lasted for more than five hours.
She said the prime minister and the separatists should not put conditions before starting a dialogue.
“But the government should release the youth arrested under the Public Safety Act… The curfew, which Kashmiris have been suffering under, should also be lifted,” said Mufti.
On the issue of repealing the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), she said: “We should definitely have something real and concrete, not something which is cosmetic.”
In her emotion speech in the meeting, copy of which was later circulated to the media, the PDP president said that a tragedy was always waited to happen in Kashmir in the wake of a refusal to recognize a problem in its actual form and its very obvious dimensions.
“A tragedy that a seasoned whistle blower from the state and his party had been pointing to through impassioned communications, pleas, demonstrations and statements but could not make the desired impact on the security oriented mindsets of the country’s decision-makers”.
Kashmir, she said, is marooned in its own blood and there is no scope for delaying any further a meaningful and bold response to what has now developed into a moral, political and humanitarian challenge for this billion plus nation.
“The crisis of Kashmir has not to be viewed as a mere geographical or strategic problem but has to be recognized as a painful issue that has to be resolved with dignity and respect for a people with a proud and distinct cultural identity and aspirations”.
The leading lights of country’s political set up here will have to rise above the considerations of their party interests or the next elections in this or that state to reach out to a people in distress who unfortunately have been forced to feel like aliens if not outright enemies, she added.
“We are just a security enterprise and no more a people who could be owned by political worthies for this or that electoral calculation”, she said adding, “A people fit only for a dole or a package and not a resolution of their problems on decent terms of engagement which would help them find their own development moorings in a world full of growth opportunities. When Kashmir came up for discussion in the parliament no one from the mainland with a few exceptions spoke for us and the government chose to refrain even from a formal reply”.
Mehbooba said that those who feel it is a problem that can be solved through cosmetic measures are doing no service either to the country or the state. “There are no takers for sops, concessions or half measures. A middle ground consensus is fortunately emerging on the contours of a roadmap ahead. Instead of reaching out to or trying to rescue a particular party an effort should be made to strengthen this emerging consensus and start a process of which each individual element looks a natural, calibrated part”.
She also reiterated her party demand of opening of traditional routes for trade and travel across LOC and Self Rule, which, as per her, provide one pragmatic window for resolution.
“We strongly endorse the need for revocation AFSPA, which has outlived its utility as we have been calling for since 2007. We demand that the process of shifting armed forces from civilian areas be started now. All the innocent detenues be released and political prisoners be freed by revoking SA against them”, she added.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 15 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 15 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 16 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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