“Today Baig is telling us to find a middle path for WPRs. He is the person who during his tenure made conspiracies and amended the law pertaining to Kashmiri women who marry outside.
Kashmir’s separatist leaders, mainstream parties and civil society Sunday slammed the senior Peoples Democratic Party leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig for his remarks that a “middle path must be found to solve the issue of West Pakistan Refugees.”
Taking a strong note of Baig’s assertions, the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani said PDP has “literally bowed down before the BJP for greed of power.”
The Hurriyat (G) spokesman Ayaz Akbar told KNS if “NC’s founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah sold Kashmir for power, Peoples Democratic Party seems to have traded honor and dignity of the state.”
“The PDP has entered into a sell out and is speaking the BJP’s language. Baig isn’t an Islamic scholar who can issue fatwas. He may know law the best but can’t issue Islamic fatwas,” Akbar said.
He said Baig should recall that J&K has its own constitution according to which no outsider is allowed to settle or become a permanent resident or voter of the state. “These refugees whose number exceeds five lakh are not the permanent residents of Jammu Kashmir and cannot be given such a status,” he said.
The Hurriyat (G) spokesman claimed Baig was “appeasing BJP and RSS.” “He is a part of the conspiracy to destroy the existing social fabric of Jammu and Kashmir. The aim of this conspiracy is to change the demography of the state and destroy its Muslim-majority status. But people of Jammu Kashmir will never remain silent over these conspiracies being hatched at the behest of RSS and its allies,” he said.
“We also agree the settlement of Pakistani refugees is a humanitarian issue but if GoI wants to settle them on humanitarian grounds, why don’t they settle them in other states like Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan which do not have any special status?” Akbar asked.
JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik said Baig’s remarks about WP refugees are “meant to appease his RSS masters to get the union ministry.”
While addressing a gathering here, Malik termed the statement of Baig as a “glaring example of his Kashmir enmity.”
“Today Baig is telling us to find a middle path for WPRs. He is the person who during his tenure made conspiracies and amended the law pertaining to Kashmiri women who marry outside and thus weakened the state subject law,” Malik said.
Malik said “to get power and ministry in Government of India Baig actually has draped himself in RSS colors and, like in the past, he has started working on anti-Kashmir agenda.”
Terming Baig’s statement as "misleading" and "far from reality", Chairman Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Shabir Ahmad Shah said “by raking up the issue of WPR, the PDP is trying to strike a good deal with BJP” on government formation in the state.
“Such nonsense of finding ‘middle path’ can come only from the mouth of a failed lawyer. This shows Baig’s political immaturity,” Shah said. He said Baig’s statement was “aimed at scoring political points and grabbing power.” “By issuing such statements, Baig couldn’t impress anyone and everyone came to know about his intentions."
Reacting to PDP leader’s “humanitarian” comment, Shah said, “Where was Baig’s humanitarian approach when resolution regarding Afzal Guru was taken up in the State Assembly. Why they staged walk out that time?”
“We would never allow the anti-Kashmir policies of PDP-BJP to succeed and would fight them tooth and nail,” he added.
Chairperson Dukhtarane-Millat Syeda Aasiya Andrabi said Baig’s statement has proved that PDP is “subordinate branch of RSS”. She said: “For the sake of power Baig and his party are ready to barter Muslim majority status of J&K. For power they will sell their honor. Kashmiris should remain vigilant to these nefarious designs and stand up against the settlement of outsiders in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Awami Ittihaad Party (AIP) President and MLA Langate Engineer Rashid said, “The stand of PDP on West Pakistan Refugees and other burning issues has badly exposed them and well before forming government with BJP they look all set to make compromises on every issue including Article 370.”
“Baig invoking Quran and Sunnah to settle West Pakistan refugee issue reflects his hypocrisy as he forgets same when religious freedom of Muslims is curtailed by barring them from offering Friday and Eid prayers,” he said.
The Civil Society formation, Kashmir Center for Social and Development Studies, strongly denounced the “provocative and deceptive” statement of Baig on the WP Refugees.
“The kind of perverted logic he uses to deceptively convince the people about the humanitarian character of the issue by invoking Islam and Quran is highly deplorable. By juggling about the issue from various perspectives, he cannot obfuscate the contours of the issue and confuse people of the state,” a statement issued by the KCSDS said.
“It sounds ridiculous from a party that aids and abets peoples repression through connivance. Public memory is not so short. Baig’s passionate and vigorous advocacy of the permanent Resident’s Disqualification bill in the State Assembly still echoes in our ears,” the statement said.
It said: “The refugees are the baggage of the partition and Kashmir is the unfinished agenda of that partition. Hence nobody could be allowed to settle here till the agenda is finished. Therefore their rightful place is any part of India particularly Northern India. Kashmir’s disputed position, its State Subject Law of 1927, given sanctity in the 3rd part of Kashmir Constitution and power dynamics of state politics–all are rallied against the grant of citizenship rights to WPR whose natural rightful place is in India. Baig has opened another Pandora’s box that if Pakistan is ready to take them, the issue will be over. Whom is he trying to fool? It is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan of mutual exchange of refugees. His reference to settlers around the world simply does not apply in the peculiar present status of Jammu and Kashmir.”