Kashmir crying for justice: Mehbooba
New Delhi Sep 10: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti Saturday asserted that no people could be subjugated by force and Kashmir needed a humane and creative approach to resolve the problems facing it.
“No people can be occupied at gun-point and if anyone thinks Kashmir can be occupied by force he is wrong” she told the National Integration Council meeting here.
Urging the country’s leadership to provide justice and democratic space to people of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba said; “We in Kashmir still see India as a land of spiritualism and an abode of saints, something we have in common and whatever is left of our relations is because of this shared belief.”
She said the situation in Kashmir has entered a new phase. The entire problem now revolves around one simple question. “Are we ready to provide space for dissent within the system,” she asked? The internal dimension of the issue demands an answer to that crucial though simple question. So far we have found that beyond the holding of elections no space for expression is allowed unless people say what the powers that be want to hear, she said.
Mehbooba said that is not the idea of democracy anywhere beyond Lakhanpur, the last point of J&K territory. “Otherwise all the bikes in Srinagar would not be imprisoned in city police stations along with hundreds of youth. Unless the space for dissent is allowed, democracy in J&K will remain inadequate and flawed,” she said and added that unless J&K is at peace with itself and with rest of the region, the idea of India will remain incomplete.
Opening the speech by condoling the deaths caused in recent Delhi blast, Mehbooba said: “We in Kashmir understand the pain and agony of its victims and their families more than anybody else.” She said Jammu and Kashmir has been in the vortex of similar mindless violence for decades but is unable to receive justice in spite of being part of a democratic India. She said acknowledgement of no fewer than 2700 graves of unknown Kashmiris by a state agency has been treated almost as routine news or no news at all by most of the media and political establishment. “Can all of us here irrespective of our political beliefs muster courage to stand up and hang our heads in shame for these graves are not somewhere on the Mars or in a nondescript African country?,” she said. They are here in Mahatama Gandhi’s India the largest democracy in the world and the purpose of this meeting would have been served in great measure if we hold out a promise of closure to those who are waiting unendingly for their loved ones. The state must do its duty to keep an account of its citizens even if they are dead and buried in unmarked graves, she said.
Mehbooba said justice had been eluding Kashmir in spite of our best efforts to give democracy and non violence a full endorsement. Fake encounters are continuing in the state in spite of the Supreme Court orders to hang the culprits involved in such cases. She recounted the fake encounters staged recently including the ones at Surankote, of the 70 year old Habibullah Khan last year and Machhil encounters for money and medals and said not even the decade old Pathribal incident had been investigated properly. Similarly, none of the killers of 120 youth last year has been prosecuted or punished, she said and pointed out that justice can’t be done selectively. She said those demanding punishment for Afzal Guru must join our demand for the criminals who committed crimes against Kashmiris as well.
Mehbooba said it was satisfying that the National Integration Council (NIC) meeting is convened this time when there is no particular situation threatening the nation. It looks like a positive initiative for a long term policy than a fire-fighting effort as it usually has been in the past. I congratulate the Prime Minister for the initiative, she said.
On the issues facing Indian Muslims Mehbooba said one of the momentous decisions taken by UPA government was the appointment of Sachar Commission on minorities. It helped in redefining the minorities of India, especially the Muslims as facing huge problems of social growth and economic development rather than being a problem themselves. We believe it helped in changing the perspectives of national integration in relations between the state and the country’s largest minority group. But, she said, inadequacies in its follow up are too glaring to be missed.
Mehbooba said the crucial issue of Muslim representation in services is still unresolved. One would easily appreciate the miniscule Muslim representation in jobs that require higher academic qualifications but what does stop the state in making it equitable for them in even the menial jobs of peons or constables? She said a solution will have to be found to this to help at least some families sustain and grow to the next level of incremental emancipation.
One more development on the flip side, Mehbooba said is the response by the state agencies to the acts of terror. It is for some time now that the state agencies don’t reel out names of suspects almost simultaneously with the incident. This could have a salutary impact on minorities who otherwise were treated as natural suspects and suffered deep insecurities.
Mehbooba said though one is not comfortable with the realization that hardly any cases of bombings and terror have been solved in the past two years but it gives one some satisfaction as well that no innocents are hauled up in the name of cracking the cases almost without requiring any investigations. She said the release of the so called Mecca Masjid accused in Hyderabad stands out in bold relief against the continued imprisonment of Samjhauta express blast suspects who continue to face prosecution in spite of confession statements by someone else. We hope the quality of investigation is improved further to spare the innocents even if it takes time to lay hand on the real culprits involved in these heinous crimes against humanity.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 10 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 10 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 11 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM FRONTPAGE
- Interlocutors exploring JK solution: Manmohan
- Omar makes another call for Truth Commission
- Kashmir crying for justice: Mehbooba
- 2 KASHMIRIS DETAINED IN RAJASTHAN
- E-mails can be fake: Home Secy
- Verifying facts: DGP
- JK awaits disaster management policy
- Dardistan: Kashmir’s link to Central Asia, Afghanistan
- 7 dead, 28 hurt in road accidents
- Rafiabad villages clash over Eidgah land
‘JOB OFFER UNDER NRETP’
Baramulla, Sep 10: After Ganderbal, the Sarpanchs and Panchs of Baramulla have been duped allegedly by an Uttar Pradesh based ‘self styled’ director of ‘National Rural Employment Training Program’ on the More
- Srinagar City
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Sept 10: The Presentation Convent Higher Secondary School, Rajbagh, Srinagar, celebrated its Pre-Primary Annual Day function Saturday. Usha Vohra, First Lady, was the Chief Guest at the More
SYED AMJAD SHAH
Jammu, Sep 10: Against the backdrop of tracing of an e-mail sent ostensibly by Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami (HUJI) claiming responsibility of Delhi High Court blast, to Kishtwar area, Jammu and Kashmir police More
- South Asia
Kabul, Sep 10: The post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan by the US and its allies "will remain a permanent stigma on the face of Western democracy", the Taliban said today. The grouping, which refused More
3 protesters killed
Cairo, Sep 10: Israeli ambassador to Egypt and the embassy staff were Saturday waiting at the Cairo international airport for an Israeli military plane to whisk them away to Tel Aviv after an attack on More