Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti has urged the people to support a leadership that ensures justice and fair play within the state and is also able to fair deal for Jammu and Kashmir from New Delhi, irrespective of which party or formation is in power there.
Addressing public meetings at Hanga Mawar and Palpora Qaziabad in Langate constituency Tuesday, she said Omar Abdullah’s so-called offer to facilitate a dialogue between separatists and New Delhi comes after the five years of vitiating the political environment in the state and turning Kashmir into a prison.
Mehbooba said Omar Abdullah’s so-called offer to facilitate a dialogue between separatists and central govt lacks credibility and seriousness, because in the last five years his govt has subverted all norms of democracy and kept most of the separatist leaders in prison or converted their homes into jails.
In the process he has further added to the trust deficit existing between the state and the rest of the country. Not only that he declared a war on all sections of society especially the youth; ten thousand of whom are facing multiple FIRs, thus jeopardizing their future and careers.
She said Omar Abdullah maligned Kashmiri youth, who fought for their rights and pleaded for justice as stone-pelters, drug addicts, Lashkar-e-toiba workers or paid agents. “This is not the way to create an atmosphere conducive to fruitful dialogue,” said Mehbooba.
She said the Chief Minister sought votes for Bijli, Sadak and Pani in 2008, when he has miserably failed to deliver on that front over the five years, he (Omar Abdullah) has started racking up the Kashmir issue now to hide his failures. But instead, the PDP during its brief tenure in the government pursued its political and development agenda rigorously. Line of Control was opened after almost six decades, thus bringing the divided parts of Jammu and Kashmir close to each other. The dialogue with the separatist leadership was started at the highest level to ensure that all sections of the political spectrum are heard. Major developmental and economic initiatives were started with sincerity, in all the regions of the state.
Castigating the Omar Abdullah government for pushing the entire Valley in complete darkness, the PDP president said the latest curtailment schedule issued by the government is insulting for the people and enough to indicate about the bankruptcy and insensitivity of the rulers.
She said soon after taking over as the chief minister of the state, Mufti Mohammd Sayeed brought the power supply back on track and people started feeling relief. Now the situation is almost same as was prior to 2002.
Condemning the latest decision to house arrest Syed Ali Shah Geelani, just one week after he was released, Mehbooba said the state govt has made a mockery of fundamental rights, democratic norms and freedom of expression.
She said everybody has a right to express views in a democratic system, as it is a battle of ideas that ultimately should take place if issues are to be resolved.
Mehbooba said all political compromises made by the National Conference have historically had one objective-power for the Abdullah family. She said in 1975 after putting people of the state to tribulations and trouble, Sheikh Abdulla’s Accord achieved nothing except power for himself. The 1987 Accord was again to facilitate Farooq Abdullah’s reinstatement, which ultimately led to rigging in elections, when Kashmiri youth were completely disillusioned with the electoral process and were forced to pick up guns to fight for their perceived rights.
Mehbooba said in 1996, when the NC teamed up with the BJP-led NDA, seven most feasible power projects were gifted to the NHPC. STF was started and POTA was introduced thus adding to the peoples’ miseries. Now why they trucked with the Congress-led UPA, they (NC) ensured that Mohammad Afzal Guroo was sent to the gallows. J&K Bank was handed over to the Reserve Bank of India thus compromises were made on the state’s special position.