Abdul Aziz Wani
When Mufti Sayeed breathed his last, general public as well as political pundits had expected that Mehbooba Mufti would take oath and assume power shortly after his last rites are over. However, she surprised everyone. Some are even shocked. The reason everyone was caught with surprise is that people have always branded unionist politicians as ‘opportunists’ – rightfully so – ready to grab the power chair. This is reflected from the actions of some of the PDP members who are anxious to assume power.
Mehbooba’s wait bears weight. Her stance on some of the issues deserves immense praise. The assurance from New Delhi over the return of authority on Kashmir’s power projects back into the hands of state should be pre-requisite for any alliance with any non-regional party. Firstly, because the welfare of place like Kashmir is dependent on the outcome of water resources. This is baffling that no party, be it political or civil, has raised the issue the way it deserves despite that everyone agrees and acknowledges that lack of power has drastically impeded the development of the state. The causes and consequences of energy crisis in Kashmir is a serious issue that has got brushed under the carpet.
Secondly, even if power has no relation with development, still Kashmiris should possess the right to control all the projects because it is our own property. Mehbooba Mufti’s stance on the issue of power projects has repeatedly brought it into discussion at talk shops, even in the far flung areas of the state. Even if the issue is not resolved immediately, these signs are pleasing in the sense that at least general public got involved. The awareness about seemingly insignificant issues in the general public is in the best interests of democracy.
Apart from the hunger for power, her dedication to follow her father’s line of peddling for good relationship between India and Pakistan is worth appreciation. The ‘other’ reason behind the dead lock is that she wishes New Delhi to show positive signs towards the dialogue process. Majority of people, and I believe Mehbooba too, wish that dialogue process between India and Pakistan culminates in making Line of Control between the two sides of Kashmir porous and irrelevant which will help bear peace in this region.
The rabble-rouser opposition leader Omar Abdullah may appear very exuberant in media but that is not what is required. Instead of backing Mehbooba for her courageous stand, Omar criticized her for denying the representational government to the people who voted her, but he should understand that people did not vote just that a stagnant representational government rules them to recession as has been done in the past. If not Mehbooba, people of Kashmir need an Omar Abdullah who would agitate their concerns and not an Omar Abdullah who represents the aspirations of New Delhi and people of Kashmir know what pleases New Delhi.
Moreover, now the stand has been taken, it should become a point of no return otherwise the trust deficit corridor will get more widened and an addition of another bead to the string of broken promises.
(Author is an Advocate in Jammu and Kashmir High Court and hails from Trehgam, Kupwara.)