Don’t Preach


Assuming that Ms Mufti is naive to rub people of her state the wrong way every time she makes a public appearance is wrong. Rather, she knows, pretty well, the compositions, the mood, the taste, and the temperament of people of Kashmir like nobody else. After all she has spent more hours among wailing populace than inside the fortified fortresses. First it was her remark against certain clerics accusing them of using mosque pulpits to propagate anti-government sentiments. Then she felt ashamed of being a Muslim because an attack took place on CRPF in Ramzan. Finally, she took the BJP route and called Pakistan a failed state where everything is imported and nothing manufactured.

She heads the state after an overwhelming ballot exercise, involving more than half of state’s population, gave her late father mandate to rule.

But once she took over after her father’s demise, she started pointing fingers at the very people whom she rules. First it sounded careless, then suicidal, but at the end it showed political immaturity.

Ms Mufti, rather than taking her elevation to the top post as a divine chance to finally practice her father’s “healing touch” policy, she is doing just the opposite.

During recently concluded budget session of state legislative assembly, Ms Mufti tactically avoided repeated queries regarding the finding of probe ordered after Handwara civilian Killings.

Lawmakers wanted to know why government is shying away from releasing the finding of magisterial probe that Ms Mufti herself ordered. On April 13, 2016, protests erupted in Handwara town after an army man allegedly tried to molest a school going girl. In response to protests army fired indiscriminately and killed five people, including a lady, over next four days. To cool tempers Ms Mufti, who had only a few days back taken over reins of Kashmir with BJP’s support, visited the select spots in the town and ordered an enquiry. But soon, like all other enquiries that were ordered by her predecessors, this too fell flat on its face. Once life resumed normalcy, nobody was asking anything about Handwara anymore. But once the important budget session of assembly started, lawmakers started asking uncomfortable questions: what happened to Handwara Killings report? She avoided. But when the voices became louder, the government was forced to blink.

On June 13, 2016, the deputy speaker of the house ordered that the report should be tabled in the house the next day. Still there was no sign of the report. Then next day opposition asked the speaker: where is the report that his had assured will be tabled today. The speaker responded by assuring the opposition that the report will be tabled at an “appropriate” time.

But still Ms Mufti didn’t react. Not even after repeated pleas and theatrics from Langate Lawmaker Er Rasheed. The house was informed that the finding of the report will be made public during the budget session, so have patience. Finally, on May 26, 2016, government sought two days time to present the report.

However, with assembly’s budget session over, government failed to keep its promise. And Ms Mufti kept her silence. Handwara is not burning anymore, so why bother.

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