'Democratic setup in JK facing rot'

Jammu, Mar17: Cautioning against collapse of democratic system in the state, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has said governance in J&K has been reduced to containment of anger through repression.
 Addressing party workers here today, Mufti said we have a government that is isolated from the people and has lost its political character and moral authority to govern.
 “A large part of anger among people has been caused by the inability of government to respond to their aspirations, channelise them and secure for them a place of dignity and honor within the union,” he said.
 Mufti said because of its numerical combination in the legislature the government might stay in existence but it is left with hardly any political influence or a claim to credibility and a virtual anarchy has taken over the state.
 Mufti said while governments could be replaced, but that process would lose meaning if the institutions failed to serve the society and lost their credibility. That he said was the challenge facing the state at present as this government had compromised the authority of institutions like the legislature and eroded their standing as the custodians of public interest. He said Assembly was the ultimate authority in a democratic system and it should be free to discuss all issues which concern the people but the present coalition had held it hostage to its petty partisan interests just to ensure its survival. “The assembly has been turned into a mock house with government instead of getting worried by opposition boycott feeling relieved at what it considers as a good riddance,” he said while maintaining that this attitude could have disastrous implications for the state. He said it would push people further away from democratic system which had gained some respectability as a result of the rise of a strong opposition.
 Referring to the decision of his party to stay away from the proceedings of legislature for the rest of the current session, Mufti said the house had been prevented from undertaking any meaningful discussion that could have helped in finding a way to respond to people's concerns. “We did not want to be part of a process of demolition of democratic institutions in the revival of which we had contributed substantially in the past years. The people would get completely disillusioned with the highest democratic forum by witnessing the most undesirable sight of a government pleading helplessness before its own forces and an opposition not allowed to raise issues and jointly finding solutions to them.”
 Mufti said the present disconnect was not confined to the government and people alone but it had extended to institutions as well which should worry all right thinking people in view of the tormented history of the state. He said an extraordinary situation has arisen in the state in the wake of Afzal Guru's thoughtless hanging which most people view as avoidable, but neither the government nor the legislature have been able to respond to it adequately. Government, he said, is unable to think beyond curfew, guns, chilli bombs and large scale arrests as the only options and is closing the doors of a democratic engagement. On the other hand it wants to run the legislature without even a reference to the reign of terror and repression it has let loose on people he said and added "we did not want to be part of that charade". "We would rather go to people to galvanise their opinion in favour of a popular, democratic and peaceful revolution that could guarantee their constitutional rights, liberties and development opportunities" he added.
 Mufti said the state was passing through very turbulent times and it would have needed a very wise and mature leadership first to avoid this plight and now to take the people out of this dangerously poised situation. He said that with a government that is focused on mere survival, personal luxuries of rulers and a free for all corruption there appears no immediate way out but PDP would continue to strive for mobilisation of public opinion so that the state could revert to the path of peace, dignity and development that had been charted after 2002 elections. He said the political parties will have to remain accountable to the people who vote them into power and that alone could ensure public welfare.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST

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