The Peoples United Front (PUF) on Wednesday said it was ready to join a common platform with other political parties for safeguarding J&K special status.
“Today, we are offering support to National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Sajad sahib…we know that they are responsible for all evils. But this is not the time for blame game. We appeal them for unity. If they want to form one regional party, we are ready for it. We are ready to give up our existence and identity to counter conspiracies from New Delhi,” said PUF leader Er Rasheed, addressing a press conference here.
He was joined by other party leaders including Shah Faesal, Javaid Mustafa Mir and party members. “This is not the time for blame game. If we indulge in blame game, then we will not reach anywhere,” Rasheed urged his political opponents.
Criticizing National Conference vice President Omar Abdullah for his remarks that the state parties should wait for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement in the wake of apprehensions that Article 35A might be tinkered with, Rasheed said for the past four five days the PUF has been urging for an all party meeting.
He said after PDP President Mehbooba Mufti asked National Conference President Farooq Abdullah to call the meeting the PUF has been “trying it’s best” to ensure the meeting takes place.
“Farooq sahab agreed, but Omar sahib said we must wait for the Prime Minister’s response. We want to correct him… New Delhi doesn’t ask anyone before doing anything. When Afzal Guru was hanged, Omar sahib was the chief minister and he is on the record having said in the Assembly that he was not informed about it (the hanging). We want to tell Omar sahib that whenever Delhi has to do anything, it does not give a whiff of it to anybody …when late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was arrested in 1953 from Gulmarg, he had gone there as Prime Minister. He had no idea that an SPO rank officer will arrest him,” said Rasheed.
Faesal hailed role of Jammu Bar Association for coming forward in support of the Article 35A. “They talked in defence of Article 35A. It is very important for us since it was being said that Article 35A has been made for interests of Kashmiris only. Article 35-A is in the interests of all three regions of the state including Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. It was included as a provision in Constitution of India on the basis of historical identity,” said Faesal.
Another PUF leader, Javed Mustafa Mir said they had hoped that BJP will resolve Kashmir issue since the party had got majority in 2015.
“It was Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Jawaharlal Nehru who signed accord on Kashmir. Then, they (New Delhi) promised plebiscite. Then, there were slogan like sky is the limit and Insaniyaat ka daiyra mein (within ambit of humanity). What happened to the slogan of Vajpayee jee?’ asked Mir.
He said there was fear psychosis in Kashmir. “I want to tell Prime Minister that you are the PM of the entire country and you will have to prove that. You have to realize that you are our PM too,” said Mir.
Responding to the request by the National Conference MPs to the Prime Minister for a meeting Rasheed said the PM should have given audience to the MPs.
“Let’s hope that the PM meets them and address their concerns,” he said.
The PUF leader also called for an All Party meeting to formulate a future strategy for safeguarding the State’s special status.
Rasheed said at a time when there is talk about delimitation of Assembly segments a perception was being created that Kashmir has less voter population.
“This is not right. The reason for it has been the volatile situation in Kashmir owing to which the youth here didn’t get enrolled in voter list. We want to tell our youth who are aged 18 or above that they should get themselves registered immediately as voters list,” said Rasheed.
Rasheed also said that J&K was not the only State having special status. “We have a question for BJP. Let the party decide whether it is bigger or India is bigger. Conflicting statements have been coming on Article 35A, special status, refugees and other issues including delimitation. We request New Delhi not to play with fire,” said Rasheed, urging the Prime Minister to announce dialogue with all stakeholders on Kashmir.
The PUF appealed both India and Pakistan to stop shelling on borders and allow people live peacefully.
Rasheed criticized Governor Satya Pal Malik over his “non action” on leaking of government orders which has created scare among people.
“Are these orders in sale at Lal Chowk? Why isn’t Governor sahab taking any action over it?” asked Rasheed.