‘New Delhi trying to depoliticize K-issue’
They Can’t Orchestrate 1953 Again: NC
Srinagar, Aug 9: Agriculture Minister and Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) Chairman Ghulam Hassan Mir’s recent statement that Kashmir problem can be resolved by empowering people and giving them economic independence has generated a heated debate in the Valley.
Independent observers believe that slogan of economic empowerment and independence is being raised to “depoliticize” the Kashmir issue, while politicians, including separatists, are of the opinion that Mir is trying to mislead the people.
An independent observer said, “It seems something is being orchestrated. New Delhi is cooking something.”
He opined that Kashmir is not only about economy. “Kashmir is the only place which has the lowest ratio of families living Below Poverty Line (BPL). Most people have their own house which is the elementary requirement.”
New Delhi, he said, tried to depoliticize the Kashmir issue in 1953 that is why Jawahar Lal Nehru’s personal relations with Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah were sacrificed. “After putting late Sheikh Abdullah behind bars New Delhi announced that Kashmiris will be given jobs and provided everything free. Sheikh Abdullah’s successors were given free hand by New Delhi to develop JK,” he said.
In 1953 economic empowerment was projected as the substitute to the political process, the analyst said. “Time proved New Delhi wrong as Kashmir issue still continues to linger and aspirations of Kashmiris are still alive,” he said.
A senior columnist said: “Economic independence doesn’t mean that Army would continue to call the shots, young boys would be sent to jails and people would continue to live amidst fear. Many things have to change before raising the issue of economic independence.”
The Additional General Secretary of ruling National Conference, Dr Mustafa Kamaal accused Mir of having “sold his conscience.” “His remote control lies with agencies and he is talking in their language. He (Mir) is saying that mainstream parties are raising emotive slogans but the fact is that he is doing so,” Kamaal said.
“What economic empowerment is Mir talking about? More than 60 per cent of state’s population is eating well. Nearly Rs 44000 cr are generated from Horticulture sector, while Rs 17000 crore are generated from Handicrafts sector. All these initiatives were taken by late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and we are reaping the dividends today,” Kamaal said.
He said that conspiracy was hatched in 1960, when late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah was in jail, to plunder the resources of JK. “New Delhi till date is following the same policy,” he added.
Kamaal said two armies are facing each other on the soil of JK and people of Kashmir have been living under threat for past six decades. “Our trade and travel is dependent on one highway. These are fundamental issues and they have got nothing to do with economic independence. First New Delhi has to resolve the Kashmir problem then only one can talk about economic independence,” he said. “New Delhi cannot orchestrate 1953 again as all the superpowers want that Kashmir problem should be solved.”
JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik believes that nothing can be achieved by economic empowerment. “We need to understand that all the issues are offshoots of unresolved Kashmir issue. Jammu and Kashmir is the highest militarized zone in the world,” he said.
Malik opined that people should be first allowed to live in peace and their dignity needs to be restored. “The bogey of economic empowerment is being raised to divert the attention from the real issue,” he said. “The NHPC claims that it has done a big favour to Kashmiris by setting up power projects in JK but the fact is that they have taken advantage of our poverty. Had we been allowed to construct the power projects on our own, banks from all over the world would have provided us with the financial assistance and we would have been self reliant in the power sector.”
He said that history stands testimony to the fact that New Delhi has never allowed Kashmiris to prosper. “We have been made to believe that our life means that we should be able to manage two square meals in a day. Life of a common Kashmiri is nothing more than a struggle for sustenance and it has been made so with a purpose,” he said.
Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said that there is no doubt about the fact that economic empowerment is must but “that doesn’t mean that it would resolve the Kashmir issue.”
Referring to Ghulam Hassan Mir’s statement, the Mirwaiz said, “It seems he meant to say that economic empowerment is the end. He is trying to give an impression that Kashmir issue is all about jobs and development. He is dancing on the tunes of New Delhi.”
The Mirwaiz said that economic independence is a part of political independence. “Mainstream politicians need to realize that they have caused lot of damage to Kashmiris by playing into the hands of New Delhi. They bartered the interests of Kashmiris for the sake of power. They are the ones who are responsible for disempowering Kashmiris,” he said. “Jobs and development are not enough to resolve the Kashmir issue nor can mere slogans lead to any change. Kashmiris can become self reliant only when system changes and their aspirations are addressed.”
However, the spokesman of main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nayeem Akther said, “We don’t want to comment over the issue.”
Pertinently, Ghulam Hassan Mir, earlier this week had said that special status of JK lies in economic empowerment of common masses.
He had asked people to reject the emotive, impracticable and sensational slogans of different mainstream parties and work collectively for economic empowerment. “JK’s special status lies in cent percent literacy, healthy road connectivity, better medicare facilities, safe drinking water and adequate power supply,” he said.
He said there is no substance in emotive slogans to ameliorate socio-economic conditions of the people of the state. “Mainstream politicians have misused voters emotionally which has resulted in under-development of the state,” he said.
Mir had cautioned the people to be aware of political parties and politicians who, according to him, have always skirted the real issues affecting the people and used emotional slogans to hoodwink them. “These politicians never respect the interests of the common masses and that is why after 60 years of independence from autocratic rule we still gain votes from the people on basic issues,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 9 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 9 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 10 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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