#Day17: Home Minister’s Kashmir Visit Was Exercise In Futility, Says PDP MP Karra



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Islamabad district was sealed on Monday to disallow Hurriyat called march. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)
Islamabad district was sealed on Monday to disallow Hurriyat called march. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

Senior PDP leader and Member Parliament Tariq Hameed Karra Monday said that the two-days visit of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the backdrop of the on-going civil uprising could be termed as “exercise in futility” as no concrete steps on ground were taken to normalise the situation.

Karra expressed his dismay on Home Minister’s announcement about constituting a committee to look for an alternative to lethal pellet guns.

“Does that mean that till the committee is constituted and later on it submits its report after two months, the use of such lethal pellet guns would be continued and given the number of people injured and permanently disabled in first 15 days, the number of injured may rise further?” he said.

In an interview to KNS, the senior PDP leader said that it would have been prudent on the part of Home Minister if he would have banned the use of pellet guns.

“I am sure the Home Minister must have gauged the public mood in the shape of boycott by all trade bodies including their apex body Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” he said.

The former Finance Minister said that it is unfortunate that Government of India has always been “reactionary to the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir rather than responsive”.

“If we look at rest of the country, the Indian State has continuously been confronted with different political and administrative challenges. May it be North-East, castiest aspirations, pro-reservation, anti-reservation, excesses on Dalits, Patel reservation, Jat reservation or even agitation on distribution of natural resources, never ever would you find GoI ruthless or reactionary,” he said.

“Everywhere and in every situation, GoI has tried to be responsive and reconciliatory, thereby demonstrating an enthusing faith in the masses in Indian democratic system. But whenever the time comes to demonstrate the same high democratic traditions in J&K, the standards are different, which is one of the reasons for mass scale alienation of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Karra said.

Slain Burhan Wani's body at his home on Saturday while his father and younger brother wail. (KL Image courtesy: Waseem Andrabi)
Slain Burhan Wani’s body at his home on Saturday while his father and younger brother wail. (KL Image courtesy: Waseem Andrabi)

He added that hawkish elements in India try to portray Kashmir issue as if it is “an issue of real estate and not a political issue”.

“Unfortunately they are totally unaware of the genesis of this particular issue. As if the damage caused by these hawkish elements was not sufficient, the self-proclaimed hyper nationalist and hate mongering media also affects the psyche of Kashmiris in a great respect,” he said.

He said that they would be rendered speechless if anybody asks them that “why out of 30 Indian States, the people of Jammu and Kashmir hold two nationalities”.

“Why Jammu and Kashmir is the only State which has its own constitution. Why Jammu and Kashmir is the only State which has its own flag and they would not believe it that State of Jammu and Kashmir is the only State in country which has a term of six years. Do they have any answer to it?”

He said that administratively the establishment of India has always tried to project that a “contentious and a sensitive issue like ours can be dealt by oppressive and suppressive measures rather than engagement with oppressed and suppressed”.

Curfewed Srinagar on July 24, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
Curfewed Srinagar on July 24, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

“They have always misconstrued that they can resolve this unrest and alienation just by fragmentation and on the barrel of the gun. They don’t understand that transitory stints of calm is not permanent peace and tranquillity, but a deceptive calm which piles up over a period of time and just waits for a trigger. That’s exactly what happened after the killing of Burhan Wani,” the MP representing central Kashmir in Lok Sabha said.

Karra said if the GoI has failed politically here even the State Government cannot be absolved of having failed administratively.

“In the present situation the State Government has been chasing the events rather than anticipating them. It is sans a onetime permanent contingency plan for dealing such situations. On top of it tools of implementing such contingency plans have become a loose fabric having no co-ordination, understanding and surprisingly without any accountability, our own State Police force being one of them. Unfortunately some top brass Police Officers are more into politicking for earning top slots and plum postings rather than actual policing. Apart from this I find a least mantra of good governance which is, that the State establishment should have followed the Political Executive. Today it is being observed and reflected on ground that it is the Political Executives who follow the State establishment,” he said.

Tariq Hamid Karra
Tariq Hamid Karra

He said that due to different pellet guns used to quell the protests this time the critically injured people are on higher scale than the agitation in 2010 when the pellet guns were used at then too.

“It was not the same pellet gun which was used in 2010 agitation. Those guns have been replaced by a different type of pellet gun which shoots, firstly, more number of pellets and, secondly, pellets of higher calibre. That means this time it is a bigger and more lethal pellet than used earlier,” he said.

“Moreover, I am surprised in 2010 agitation when PDP objected to firing live bullets on the agitators and demanded using rubber bullets which were used later on for some time. Why the same non-lethal rubber bullets were not used this time? In other insensitive approach, the whole situation is demonstrated by not constituting a single commission of enquiry at one given place, even not a single meeting of unified command was convened since the unrest started in July,” Karra said.

On media gag, the PDP leader said, “What is expected of a government where the contentious and sensitive decisions are driven by immature and insensitive political toddlers?”

“I have been cautioning both, late Mufti Sahab and Mehbooba Ji about the dangerous consequences of the alliance of PDP with BJP,” he said, referring to the high anger among people in the on-0going uprising.

He said his stand that the Muslim majority areas of Jammu and Kashmir did not accept it as a “holy alliance is vindicated”.

He said that the hatred against BJP and RSS is not just for the heck of it, it is in a historical perspective which is rooted in 1952 when Shyama Prasad Mukherjee came to Jammu and gave the slogan of Ek Vidhan-Ek Pradhan aur Ek Nishan to the right winged political parties.

He said that the beginning of radicalization and later on polarization of Indian polity was started from the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir cannot forget it.

“There was lot of anger piled up amongst people over a period of time. All the contentious issues like beef ban, attacks on Article 370 and 35-A, separate colonies for Pandits, Sainik Colonies and a failure to provide proper governance was brewing up from quite some time. The sense of cultural, administrative and religious invasion and insecurity thereof pushed the people of Jammu and Kashmir to wall,” Karra added.

He said that it is only in the hands of politicians and establishment at the helm of affairs in Delhi who have to change their negative perception about Jammu and Kashmir and come out of the denial mode.

“They don’t have to revolve their policies only around land of Jammu and Kashmir. They shall have to think and talk also about and with people of Jammu & Kashmir. They shall have to accept, and sooner the better, that Jammu and Kashmir is not a real-estate issue, it is a political issue. They shall have to come out with the policy of handholding rather than hand twisting. They shall have to come with the policy of winning hearts and minds of people of Jammu and Kashmir by reaching out all shades of the society rather than trampling their just aspirations by using disproportionate force. And they shall have to look for out-of-the-box solution to tackle menace of unemployment confronted by the youth of Jammu and Kashmir. They shall have to repeal oppressive and repressive laws. They shall have to return the unjustified benefits reaped on the natural resources of Jammu and Kashmir and most importantly State’s power projects and I am sure that it is only after that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would definitely respond positively to a politically motivated and developmentally oriented initiative for taking out the people out of the state of slumber.”


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