'Salah-ud-Din’s statement unreasonable'

MUDDASIR ALI

Nowgam (Bandipora), Nov 7: Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday said Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salah-ud-Din’s recent statement that Panchayat members would continue to be targeted was “unreasonable” and it would “bury the cause of militancy” in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The UGC chief Syed Salah-ud-Din, our Chief Minister and Government of India have taken unreasonable stand (on the issue of Panchs and Sarpanchs),” senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig told reporters, after addressing a party rally here.
He said there are over 35000 elected Panchs and Sarpanchs in JK. “Will militants kill all of them? Can they do it and if they expect so will their cause progress. It will get buried,” Baig said.
Salah-ud-Din recently told a New Delhi based magazine that Panchs and Sarpanchs were exploited by Government of India to project Kashmir as “pro-India”, and as such, they would continue to be targeted.
“No matter how much the government tries to secure them, they will still be attacked. This is why we call on them to resign from their posts and not allow themselves to be used to undermine the liberation movement in Kashmir,” Salah-ud-Din had said.
At least five Panchayat members have been killed and many other wounded by unknown gunmen in Kashmir since Panchayat polls were held in the state in 2011, after more than three decades.
The killings forced hundreds of Panchs and Sarpanchs to resign from their positions. They have been accusing government of neglecting their security concerns.
The state government and government of India have ruled out providing security to each Panchayat member.
Baig took on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and New Delhi for risking lives of Panchs and Sarpanchs by turning their back on the demand by Panchayat members for security.
He said earlier Omar had assured security to them on “need basis”.
“Everybody is not asking for the security but you (government) can’t write it off,” Baig said.
Earlier Baig said the elections had nothing to do with self-determination or India and Pakistan.
“Omar Abdullah sold them as an end of Kashmir issue and claimed that militancy was over. He exploited Panchayat elections for his political interests,” Baig said.
He said in absence of empowering the Panchayats, government has rendered the grassroots representatives as “idle, helpless, futile and sitting ducks.”
The former Deputy Chief Minister said Panchayat members were elected representatives. “What is the logic of providing security to legislators and ministers? They are also elected representatives. Is life of the Chief Minister and a minister more valuable than that of Panchayat member?” Baig asked.
He said “unfortunately” New Delhi was too “selling” these elections as sign of an end to Kashmir issue.
Baig criticized National Conference led government for ignoring development of dozens of villages in Sonawari, Pattan and other constituencies.
He said the Abdullah family has ruled state for more than 45 years but it has always let down masses.
Baig said as per government version 50 thousands youths were “martyred” in JK while as the Hurriyat puts the number over one lakh.
“Nobody is looking after their families. Money comes from Pakistan for these families but nobody is asking what happens to it,” Baig said.
He lashed out at the government for the “growing corruption and misgovernance” in the state. “People are being suppressed even for demanding basic rights,” Baig said. PDP General Secretary Muhammad Dillawar Mir also spoke on the occasion.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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