Dispelling notion that Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir is under threat, patron Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Mufti Muhammad Syed said the apprehensions about the safety of upcoming Amarnath Yatra are misplaced and could damage the image of the state at a time when there is need to work wholeheartedly for removal of trust deficit between J&K and rest of the country.
Mufti was addressing party workers convention in Shahdra Sharief Friday.
Expressing dismay at the alarm raised over the security of upcoming Yatra, Mufti said, “the pilgrimage has historically been a part of our culture and it is not just its security but the entire hospitality effort that comes from the Kashmir society.”
He said security bandobast is part of governance but it is the Kashmir society that has sustained and promoted the yatra for decades.
Mufti said the help rendered by the locals to the Yates in times of natural calamities is part of our heritage and we are genuinely proud of that.
“Such voluntary help at the risk of ones life emanates from the basic goodness of a society and it is that sentiment which is the guarantee for the security of Yatris” he added. The alarm on security concerns undermines this great tradition and could strengthen the stereotype image some hawkish elements try to create about the residents of the state, he said.
Meanwhile he expressed deep grief at the heavy loss of life and property in Uttarakhand. Mufti said the disaster should serve as a wake up call for all environmentally sensitive states like Jammu and Kashmir to avert such tragedies.
Mufti said the people of the state are deeply sad at the widespread destruction caused in Uttarakhand which has resulted in collapse of infrastructure apart from huge loss of life that included many pilgrims to holy sites located in the Himalyas.
“We share the grief of the state and all those who lost their loved ones in terrible circumstances. However we will have to work hard to avert the tragedy that struck Uttarakhand in other areas,” said Mufti .
Urging the party cadres to strengthen their contact with the people Mufti said the PDP does not have to prove its ability to govern with distinction as its brief stint in government has become a positive reference point in the political discourse of the state.
He said if the present government had been able only to carry forward our programs the state would have progressed beyond recognition. However the next elections would provide an opportunity to the people to make a difference between good and bad governance and a correct decision by them could lay the foundations for a long term change in the system and through that in the destiny of the state, said Mufti.
Referring to the dismal performance of coalition government, Mufti said corruption has become the symbol of its ministers and top leaders. This government, he said has dismantled all institutions of vigilance and only promoted favourites for partisan purposes. He said hundreds of retired bureaucrats have been re employed while the number of unemployed youth was increasing. The delay in making appointments to vacant posts in the government was deliberate to fill them when elections are approaching as the NC has always considered government jobs as a commodity to be sold for money or political favour. He regretted that the comparatively clean and transparent system established by the previous coalition had been subverted by this government in pursuit of short term gains but expected people to respond to this situation by asserting their rights through democratic means and voting wisely.