PDP legislator says Kashmir youth ‘provoked’ to pick up gun

Opposition slams government for ‘reviving culture of arrests, cordons’

Syed Rizwan Geelani
Jammu, Publish Date: Jan 3 2018 11:39PM | Updated Date: Jan 4 2018 10:55AM
PDP legislator says Kashmir youth ‘provoked’ to pick up gunPhoto: Mir Imran/GK

The opposition as well as some ruling party members on Wednesday censured the government over civilian killings by forces in Kashmir and blamed it for “reviving the culture” of arrests and cordons in Kashmir after ‘90s.

Speaking in the legislature during discussion on motion of thanks on the governor’s address, the ruling People’s Democratic Party leader and MLA Shopian Muhammad Yousuf Bhat asked the government to “seriously think” about youth of Kashmir “who are being provoked to pick up the gun.”

“Blame-game cannot is no solution to this issue. The members having mandate to represent youth should take the responsibility to convince the youth to shun the path of violence. The government has a major role play here,” Bhat said.

Taking a dig at opposition members for “creating ruckus” in the House by holding photographs of Insha Mushtaq, who was blinded by pellets fired by government forces, he said: “Insha is from my constituency and rehabilitated by the present government. Wasn’t the National Conference-Congress government responsible for killing of Asiya and Neelofer who were also from my constituency? Instead of giving any healing touch, the then government made their (Asiya and Neelofar’s) relatives accused. They are languishing in jails now,” he said.

Hitting out at the Opposition, Bhat said that the people creating disruptions in House were not doing any good to the people.

“We should think of collective leadership because Kashmir issue won’t be resolved through stones or guns, but by formal talks with all the stakeholders. We should not negate that people put their lives at risk to cast their vote and choose their leaders,” he said.

MLA from Khansahab constituency Hakeem Muhammad Yaseen said that the government seems to be “directionless” in handling the situation in J&K, particularly Kashmir. He castigated the government for “regenerating the ‘90s-like situation” in Kashmir.

“The government has miserably failed to control human rights violations and bloodshed. It has revived the culture of CASO (cordon-and-search operations), arrests and detention of youth. The government should go deep and think of measures to control all this,” he said.

Pitching for fruitful talks with all stakeholders to resolve the Kashmir issue, he said that construction of roads, setting up colleges, schools and “making backdoor appointments” can go side-by-side with “initiatives to resolve the basic issue of Kashmir.”

“If Kashmir is not an issue, then why home minister Rajnath Singh made statements in 2015, 2016 and 2017 on talks with all stakeholders. The government of India appointed interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma but it seems he has no direction—who he has to meet and talk to?” he said. “Only fruitful talks will restore peace and tranquility in Kashmir.”

Yaseen castigated the government over prolonged house detention of Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani.

“When Mehboooba Mufti was in the opposition, she would make a hue and cry in House over house detention of Geelani sahab, but now she has kept him confined to his house. Her government doesn’t allow Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid, Srinagar. Is this governance?” he asked.

He urged the government to “wake up.”

“Your forces killed a woman who was feeding her baby inside her home. Civilians are killed by bullets coming from any side,” he said, adding that Kashmiri youth were “never suicidal, but now they are carrying out fidayeen attacks, which is a major challenge for the government.”

Meanwhile, MLA from Kupwara Bashir Ahmaad Dar blamed the government for “giving its control in the hands of the police.”

“A politician can play a better role in resolving issues. Police carry guns and pellets on their shoulders and can’t bring peace in the state,” he said.

He said that the government should take along the opposition members outside the House during distribution of funds under various developmental schemes.

“Opposition won’t have any grievance if the government takes it on board while dealing with governance issues. You (government) get funds under various schemes which are not properly distributed. You should ensure that funds are given to opposition members as well,” he said.