NC-Congress coalition pushed J&K to pre-2002 era: Mehbooba



Farooq, Azad trailing, Mehbooba leads

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Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti Saturday said the present coalition government has left Jammu and Kashmir in a much worse condition than in which it had taken over the state administration.

Addressing media persons here, she said the National Conference- Congress coalition has not only brought about an overall rot but its failure has led to the emergence of BJP as a force in some areas of Jammu with a divisive and communal agenda. “We will, however, take on the BJP challenge and stop it from dividing the state on communal lines and polarizing its population,” she added.

Mehbooba said it was highly disturbing that the government of India had called-off the secretary level talks with Pakistan on an issue that patently looks fake and fabricated. She said the Hurriyat was taken on board after the Vajpayee initiative of 2003. “The Hurriyat leaders were allowed to meet Pakistani diplomats and encouraged to visit Pakistan and even allowed to meet president Musharaf there,” she said. On their return they were engaged in high level talks by the then Deputy Prime Minister, L K Advani and things had started moving in a positive direction, she added.

Mehbooba said, however, the process was cut short with the arrival of National Conference-Congress coalition again in 2008 and it now looks obvious that we have reached a similar situation in which Dr Farooq Abdullah’s government had pushed the state between 1996 and2002. She said like 2002 borders of the state are unstable with unabated ceasefire violations is resulting in heavy toll of life and property and channels of dialogue are once again closed.

Stressing that the people of J&K have a right to peace and would resist jingoism, the PDP president said if India and Pakistan want to impress each other with their military might they should choose some other place and not our state. She said whether it is Indian bullet or Pakistani it kills a resident of J&K on either side and we refuse to be part of such bloodletting. To a question suggesting the PDP was taking an anti-war stance for electoral benefits, Mehbooba quipped “In 2003 we had no election to fight but we convinced Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was not our ally to extend hand of friendship to Pakistan and open dialogue with separatists.” She said till then Farooq Abdulah, an ally of NDA government, sang only one tune recommending “bomb Pakistan to resolve Kashmir”.

Expressing her party’s determination to work for peace with dignity in the state, she said it was ironical that calling for peace talks with Pakistan instead of war was being dubbed as “anti-national.” Mehboba said we refuse to be cowed down by such bizarre allegations. “We will press for peace and they will have to listen to the voices of reason from the people of J&K as it is they who suffer,” she added.

Denouncing the voices from Sangh Parivar that have suggested that “every resident of India is Hindu,” Mehbooba said we are Muslims and are proud of it and nobody can force us to change our identity. She said Jammu & Kashmir has joined the Indian republic on secular, democratic principles and we will not allow anybody to distort or subvert this foundation of our relationship.

The PDP chief said internally the government has committed all kinds of atrocities on its people with entire population imprisoned under curfews for days creating a dubious record whenever the government wants to restrict moment of the people. She said the young population has been at the receiving end of the government atrocities and injustices with thousands framed in fake cases and FIRs looming large over them.

Apart from killing over 300 civilians in six years and lodging hundreds of people in jails even private houses have even been converted into prisons, she added. Mehbooba said the state treasuries are empty and the government again as in 2002 is bankrupt and has raised loans from Mata Vaishnav Devi Trust to run the affairs of the state.

Mehbooba said for six years the government persecuted the youth of the state and used bullets, pellets and chilli grenades to silence them. And now after the rout in the parliamentary polls and facing an uphill task in the coming assembly polls the government is making fake appointments through backdoor to mislead the people and is also making noise about the withdrawal of cases against the youth. “Why were the youth in first instance pushed to the wall and framed in fake cases?” Mehbooba asked and said twice the chief minister had announced on the floor of the state assembly that all FIRs would be ‘withdrawn’ but it never happened. She said this government has failed to do anything in six years and is now announcing poll time bonanzas when the state treasuries are already empty and bills worth thousands of crores are pending.

Mehbooba said the BJP is deliberately communalizing the politics of J&K to seek votes for its candidates. She said the PDP would resist its attempts at communal polarization and her party has the ability and strength to fight its communal agenda which it will do without any reservation.