by Yawar Hussain
SRINAGAR: Jammu based parties are unhappy with the invitation to more leaders from Kashmir based parties for the meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24.
What has ruffled the Jammu based parties is the composition of the leaders invited for the meeting which include nine Muslim leaders including eight from the Valley.
However, the party with the highest invitees is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJJP) whose three leaders from the union territory have been invited for the meeting.
Fourteen leaders of eight political parties in Jammu and Kashmir — National Conference (NC), PDP, BJP, Congress, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, CPI(M), People’s Conference, and JKNPP — have been invited to the meeting that will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on June 24 to discuss the future course of action for the Union Territory.
Among those invited are four former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti. Besides them, four former deputy chief ministers have been invited including Muzaffar Hussain Baig (Peoples Conference), Kavinder Gupta and Nirmal Singh (BJP) and Tara Chand (Congress).
The invitation has also been sent to JKNPP founder Bhim Singh; incumbent J&K Congress Chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir; BJP J&K President Ravinder Raina; Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone; J&K Apni Party Chief Altaf Bukhari, and CPI(M) leader Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami,
Right-wing Ikk Jutt Jammu party’s President Ankur Sharma said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to Kashmir parties that are not even registered is a ‘clear indication that J&K will see another Islamist CM from Kashmir’.
Accusing the centre of “conspiring to permanently enslave Jammu by resurrecting Kashmiri Islamist hegemony”, Sharma said the BJP-led Centre was adopting “Nehruvian approach in dealing with political matters of the UT”.
Questioning the list of attendees for the forthcoming all-party meeting Sharma said voters while giving 303 seats to the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, were clear regarding “separatists and pseudo-separatist political mainstream of Kashmir”.
“But after taking a historic decision of abrogating Article 370, the BJP’s eagerness to reverse the gains of the action are baffling,” said Sharma.
Accusing the government of “deliberately choosing to ignore nationalist, rooted and saner voices of Jammu province”, Sharma said the Prime Minister has “chosen to sit and talk with subversives, pro-separatists, individuals accused of facilitating terror activities and proclaimed Pakistani flanks”.
“This subversive conduct of the Union Government as its age-old practice of treating Jammu as a blind spot, a problem area, a buffer to absorb Jihadi shocks within J&K. The Government is going to talk exclusively with Islamists of Kashmir disguised as mainstream political actors on the future of Jammu and Kashmir. For the Centre, Jammu does not exist,” he said.
“The sheer arrogance displayed by PMO in not inviting various political voices across the Jammu spectrum, including IkkJutt Jammu, speaks volumes about the BJP’s eagerness in forging an alliance with Kashmir-based leadership before elections are announced in Jammu & Kashmir,” Sharma alleged, calling it a clear indication that it will see “another Islamist CM from Kashmir in near future amid false narrative being built by the local BJP unit for a Jammu’s CM”.
Meanwhile, the party has passed a resolution for the further intensifying campaign for separate statehood for Jammu and division of Kashmir into two UTs, “one exclusively for Hindus of Kashmir who suffered worst genocide in the 1990s”.
Similar voices of dissent were voiced on Sunday by the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party which staged a protest in Jammu against more leaders from Kashmir being invited for the All-Party meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
JKNPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh burnt an effigy symbolising the BJP-led central government outside the party headquarters against what he termed as “Kashmir appeasement policy”.
Singh said he is meeting the party leaders on Monday to discuss the invitation and take a decision about his participation.
“I have received an invitation for the meeting and will discuss it with party leaders tomorrow (Monday) to make a decision,” he said,
“The government invited all Kashmir-based parties for the meeting but ignored the leadership of Jammu. Altaf Bukhari’s recently launched Apni Party and Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference, which have yet to be recognised by the Election Commission of India, have got the invitation while only Bhim Singh was invited from Jammu,” Singh said.
Referring to the invitation to Azad and three former deputy chief ministers from Jammu — two from the BJP and one from the Congress — and BJP president Ravinder Raina for the meeting, he said, “We do not have faith in them because they will toe the line of their respective central leadership. We have confidence in Bhim Singh but how much time he will get to speak at the meeting.”
“Is it not a ploy to promote the pro-separatist parties at the cost of aspirations of people of Dogra land,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, Panun Kashmir — a representative of Kashmiri migrant pandits — said any meeting on Kashmir without the participation of their community would be incomplete.
“Kashmiri Pandits are the aborigines and the prime sufferers of the terrorist violence in Kashmir and as a result, we need to know the agenda of the all-party meeting. If the representatives of the internally displaced Kashmiri Pandits are not invited to the talks, there would always be doubts and apprehensions in their minds,” president of Panun Kashmir Virender Raina said in a statement here.
He said unity, integrity and social cohesion of the nation is paramount and that was in the full demonstration when Article 370 was neutralised. “There is no need to placate all those, not happy with the decision that was hailed by the entire nation as historic and epoch-making,” he said.