The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senior leader and former deputy chief minister, Muzaffar Hussain Baig has said the National Conference’s politics of U-turns and sell-outs has created a trust deficit between the state and rest of the country which is hard to fill.
Addressing various meetings in Uri segment of Baramulla parliamentary constituency, Baig accused Omar Abdullah of blaming everybody except himself and his government for his failures.
“They are accusing the PDP of being allies of Modi and Jamat-e-Islami and in the same breath blame us of being the recipients of support from Army and Hizbul Mujahideen,” Baig said.
On this occasion Dr Shabir Ahmad, Syed Najib Naqvi, Parvez Ahmad Mir and others also addressed the gathering.
Baig said the border areas of Uri is destined to become the northern gateway of Jammu & Kashmir and the travel and trade across the Line of Control (LoC) will definitely be taken to next level, with the support of the people.
He said corruption and mis-governance have reached beyond tolerance, under the present government and Omar Abdullah attributes his inability to control it to everybody except himself and his government.
Baig, who is the PDP’s candidate for Baramulla parliamentary constituency, said in the constituencies which are represented by the opposition , Omar Abdullah criticizes the MLAs for lack of development like providing water, power, roads, healthcare and education, as if they run the government. On the other hand, when he goes to areas represented by his own party, he (CM) uses the Kashmir problem as a shield against his inability to deliver.
Baig said compared to this, the PDP had led a coalition that set new standards of development and political progress. He said it was no mere coincidence that a major political progress on Kashmir, in the shape of the cross-LoC Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) was taken, when PDP was leading the coalition for a brief three years.
“Not only this, but exchange of delegations of traders, political leaders, journalist, diplomats and opinion leaders took place between the two sides of the state, for first time since independence.”
“Solid progress was visible on making Kashmir a bridge between India and Pakistan, instead of staying as a bone of contention. But that whole process was reversed with the arrival of present government, which again is no coincidence but a result of Omar Abdullah’s failure, as a leader and representative of people of J&K,” he said.
The PDP senior leader said the cease-fire in 2003 was not just a cessation of hostilities between the two neighbors which had brought immense miseries to the people, living in the border area, but it was a proactive start to a new process of building peace, amity and understanding, which had culminated in historic decisions of opening of Srinagar-Muzzaffarbad and Poonch-Rawlakoot roads for travel ad trade.
Important principles have already been conceded by the governments of India and Pakistan, in dispensing with the requirement of visas and passport for travel, custom duty and import export taxes for trade cross the LoC, which lays the foundation for a free economic zone in the state, Baig said.
“It is now time that the process is taken to its next level, by implementing the decisions to extend the travel facility to groups beyond the divided families. Increase the frequency of bus services, throw open the routes like Kargil-Skhardo and also provide communication and banking backup to the LoC traders,” he said and added once that is done and the procedures are relaxed, places like Uri would become hubs of trade and tourism activity.
Baig said the NC has traded off resources of the area for their political power and areas like Uri, which have been blessed with water resources, are the worst victim of NC power games.
Baig said the state is now poised for a change and it is for the people to give a decisive mandate to PDP, under the leadership of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. That alone would relieve the state of its corrupt and inefficient system that has victimized every section of the society especially the youth.