“I have publically stated that, in my view PDP/BJP alliance will remain stable only if there is good faith agreement on political issues of the state contained in the CMP.
Senior Peoples Democratic Party leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig Sunday said the PDP-BJP alliance will remain stable “only if there is a good faith agreement on political issues of the state contained in the Common Minimum Programme” and that “Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti should forge an alliance only if they are convinced that it will be in the interest of the State, politically and economically.”
A day after Baig said the issue of West Pakistan Refugees is humanitarian, he issued a statement clarifying his position on a host of issues including the PDP’s possible alliance with the BJP.
ON GOVERNMENT FORMATION
Baig, the former deputy chief minister, also broke his silence on the PDP’s possible alliance with the BJP:
“There has been a whisper campaign that I am pushing for an alliance between BJP and PDP because I would like to get some personal benefit out of it. I have made it clear to both the BJP emissary as well as PDP leadership that I express my views without any desire or agenda to secure any political position. In fact, I have submitted a written communication to Mufti Sahib with the request that my letter of resignation from Parliament should be forwarded to the Speaker of Lok Sabha, if my intentions are ever suspected,” he said.
He said: “I have publically stated that, in my view PDP/BJP alliance will remain stable only if there is good faith agreement on political issues of the state contained in the CMP. I have publically stated at-least three times that if Mufti Sahib and Mehbooba Ji are convinced that alliance with any other party including Congress would be more beneficial to the State, they should be free to exercise that option.”
Baig said: “I am of the view that irrespective of whether PDP forms an alliance with BJP or not, there will be those within and outside the state who will oppose PDP. How can any person expect that those people are opposed to the very existence of PDP should garland this party for whatever decisions it takes. These people will find fault with PDP even if this party were to offer to the people of the State a paradise on earth.”
He said as far as formation of government with BJP is concerned, “I want to state that Mufti Sahab and Mehbooba Ji, who are the only two decision makers in the party, should forge such an alliance only out of conviction and not out of compulsion. If they are convinced that such an alliance will be in the interests of the State, politically and economically, they should go ahead. The political issues would necessarily involve an agreement on the process to resolve Kashmir issue in a democratic and constitutional manner through the process of dialogue.”
He said: “If these leaders come to this conclusion, then they should not be deterred by the possible threats of those people who are opposed to the very existence of the PDP. On the other hand, if PDP and BJP cannot agree on fundamental issues, then it is better to sit in the opposition or go back to the people rather than enter into a mere power sharing agreement, which will be seen by people and judged by history as an act of opportunism.
In that case, PDP should resist any request or pressure from any quarter including the winners of the previous election to form Government in any case.”
Baig said: “I don’t underestimate the possibility that the opponents of PDP and the separatist elements may create a trouble whenever they get an opportunity. However, I don’t subscribe to the view that we should, in any case, surrender to such pressure tactics. The views expressed now and then by certain elements within the state stand on different footing then the views expressed by some other people who have no vested interest in the political future of the State. In this regard, although I respectfully disagree with certain assertions and conclusions of A. G. Noorani, I do not suspect his bona-fides for three reasons.”
ON AG NOORANI’S VIEWS
Citing the reasons, he said: “He (A G Noorani) is on record to have publically supported PDPs policies of finding solution to the Kashmir issue through democratic and constitutional methods; he is not our political adversary and has lauded the emergence and policies of this party in the past; I believe, he is not on anybody’s payroll.”
Baig said: “While Noorani’s views are quite ponderous and merit serious consideration, and I would hope that he would think it fit to go a little soft on Mufti Sahib and Mehbooba Ji.”
“It is one thing to find fault with another person’s judgment, it is another thing to suspect his or her intentions. I will not be doing any favour to Mr. Noorani by admitting that his intentions must be honourable and credit worthy. Equally, I hope that the intentions of Mufti Sahib and Mehbooba Ji too should not be suspected. God and History will judge all of us by our deeds and not just by our words. Only future will unfold PDPs deeds. In the meantime, as always, I shall hope and pray for the best for our people.”
“A statement of mine which appeared in Greater Kashmir today regarding the possibility of finding a middle path solution to the problem of settlement of Pakistani refugees who are settled along the line of control in Jammu region, I received a call from a very responsible person today asking me the meaning and purpose of expressing my views at this critical juncture. I was told that National Conference and JKLF will take an undue advantage of my statement and may probably launch an agitation against the proposed alliance between PDP and BJP. I wonder how any person could mis-understand my statement for the following reasons,” Baig said in the statement.
Elaborating the reasons, he said: “I did not specify the parameters of the solution but only indicated the guidelines for the same. According to me, this is a humanitarian problem and not a political problem. The refugees are already settled here and they have a right to vote for Parliament. The issue is whether they can be granted the status of permanent residents of the state. I indicated that this can be done only if the Jammu & Kashmir Constitution permits it.”
He said: “Those who understand the constitution of the State know that there is no provision to that effect. Secondly, I indicated that so far as the point of view of Muslims is concerned, it should be guided by the teachings of Holy Quran and Sunnah, while Hindus may have their own point of view. Is there anything wrong in suggesting that Muslims should follow the tenants of their faith in finding a solution to this humanitarian problem? Finally I indicated that if refugees from Pakistan who are already enjoying the citizenship of India, are to be given status of permanent residency of the State, then wouldn’t it be possible for Bangladeshi refugees in India to claim similar status where-ever they are presently settled in India. Am I wrong in pointing out this crucial issue for the consideration of Government of India?”