NO DEMOCRACY IN JK: MUFTI

Slams NC For Turning Srinagar Into Fortress

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, July 13: Lashing out at the ruling National Conference-Congress coalition for turning old Srinagar into a fortress on the martyrs day, Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed Saturday said there is no democracy in JK and the present regime lacks governance, accountability and transparency.
The PDP patron arrived at martyrs graveyard at the revered shrine of Hazrat Khawaja Naqshband Sahib (RA) in old city here at 9:30 a.m. He offered fateha for the martyrs of July 13, 1931 and laid wreath on their graves.
Later talking to media men, Mufti said it is unfortunate that NC-Congress government has imposed strict curbs on the movement of people. “There is no democracy here, as is prevalent in the rest of the country,” he said.
“This (restriction) certainly must not have been the dream of those who offered the ultimate sacrifice for the liberation of the State from the feudal and autocratic rule. Such an atrocious atmosphere is highly condemnable.”
He said it was very unfortunate that such restrictions are being imposed even after 60 years of independence.
He said the government can’t face any situation without resorting to force and illegal restrictions. “Be it a Friday, Ramadhan, Eid, martyrs day, a VIP visit or any other special occasion, government resorts to caging entire population and arrest of political leaders,” he said.
He said during Congress-PDP regime, no political leader was put under house arrest or slapped with harsh Public Safety Act (PSA). “Ironically, Mushtaq-ul-Islam has been again slapped with PSA recently, which is very unfortunate. This way an atmosphere of fear, repression and oppression is being created,” he said. “In our regime (2002-2008), we allowed everybody to move freely.”
He said the event of observing martyrs day belongs to people, especially those living in Srinagar. Taking a dig at the ruling dispensation, he said, both NC and Congress are responsible for terrifying atmosphere in Kashmir since the two parties are in coalition.
“In 2010, at least 5000 youth were booked under various charges and FIRs were lodged against them. 120 youth who were killed in the same year are yet to get justice. No one was booked for killing them,” Mufti said. “Now pellets are being used against youth as if arresting them was not enough.”
To end the “atmosphere of fear and repression”, Mufti said it is for the people to change the situation and discourse.
Castigating the government for losing Rs 1226 crore to financial indiscipline, Mufti said: “There is no governance, transparency and accountability in JK.”
The PDP patron said during their regime, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Kashmir and an atmosphere of peace was created. “Roads were opened across LoC and bus service was started. We made Vajpayee to talk to separatists,” he said.
On Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid recently terming Kashmir as an internal issue, Mufti said Kashmir has to be resolved by means of dialogue.
“We didn’t keep Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a Guest House when he arrived during our tenure. We made him to speak to a large gathering of people. And recently, we saw restrictions were imposed when Prime Minister arrived in Srinagar to inaugurate Qazigund-Banihal rail link,” he said.
Mufi said since Pakistan has witnessed formation of a civilian government, and the Prime Minster of that country, Nawaz Sharif, has extended a hand of friendship to his Indian counterpart, there was a hope of some progress on Kashmir issue. “We don’t expect miracles. The two leaders are going to meet soon and we hope some breakthrough can be achieved on Kashmir,” he said.
Mufti said Kashmir has always been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. “We want Kashmir to act as a bridge between the two countries,” he said. “Prime Minister has a vision visa-a-vis Kashmir. During my recent meeting with him, I told him that people of Pakistan won’t like war as there was a civilian government now.”
On Narendra Modi’s recent assertion that he did nothing wrong in 2002, Mufti said communal rights witnessed in Gujarat were very dangerous. “He was the Head of the State in 2002. His statement has already evoked tremendous criticism,” he said. “The latest remarks of Modi only add an insult to injury as they are grossly insensitive and indecent. His statement would certainly offend a great majority of the people in the country,” the PDP patron said. He said Modi’s statements could further polarize the situation.
Mufti was accompanied by senior party leaders including Tariq Hameed Qarra, Qazi Muhammad Afzal, Muhammad Ashraf Mir, Nisar Ahmad Mandoo, Khursheed Aalam and Abdul Hameed Guroo.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 14 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST




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