US, Israeli Army chiefs' Kashmir visit is dangerous: Tarigami

19 November 2008
The Daily Excelsior
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

Srinagar: Jammu & Kashmir State Secretary of CPI (M), Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami has called the USA and the Israeli Army chiefs' recent visit to the Valley as 'dangerous for India'. He has also viewed the wedge between the state's separatist and mainstream political parties as 'dangerous for J&K' and demanded constitution of a Parliamentary panel which, he proposed, should facilitate dialogue between parties of diverse political ideologies. Addressing a news conference at his official residence this afternoon, Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami expressed serious concern over the US and the Israeli Army chiefs' recent visit to Kashmir valley. He called it 'Government of India's dangerous move'. 'I am urging upon the Government at the Centre not to allow those officials' visit to Jammu & Kashmir whose conduct has not been good. Their visit is not going to be in the interests of the people of J&K. It will be dangerous even for India and Pakistan', Tarigami warned. Tarigami said that it was unfortunate for New Delhi to have focused entire attention on certain administrative matters. He said that on the one hand, New Delhi had avoided to implement the Prime Minister's Working Group recommendations on J&K and on the other hand it was doing nothing to create space for a dialogue between political parties of different ideologies. 'Centre should treat J&K as a national issue. It should not become a football between Congress and BJP. Government of India should immediately constitute a panel, comprising members of the Parliament from different political parties, which would try to create consensus on the national level with regard to possibilities of a permanent resolution of the 60-year-old Kashmir crisis', Tarigami said. Tarigami said that his party would accept such a permanent and lasting solution to the Kashmir problem which would be equally acceptable to the people of all regions and religions in the state as well as to New Delhi and Islamabad. However, he said, such a solution had yet to emerge, most likely out of a meaningful dialogue process between different political ideologies. He sought to make it clear that participation of the Kashmiri political parties and leaders in the Assembly elections would not neutralize the reality that Kashmir was a far greater political problem that needed to be resolved inclusively. 'New Delhi will have to create an atmosphere for dialogue', he added. He said that New Delhi, with the support of the Parliamentary panel, should facilitate dialogue between different pro-India and separatist political parties and remove the wedge, which, according to Tarigami, was 'patently dangerous for the state and much against the interests of its people'. He said 'Separatist voices are important but the mainstream voices could never be ignored'. According to him, creation of the so-called 'Third Front' was need of the hour. 'In 2002, PDP emerged as an alternative to National Conference. Kashmir today needs an alternative to all the traditional political parties, a different platform-for the autonomous voice', he said and revealed that CPI (M) would continue its efforts to create the Third Front immediately after the current Assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir. He said that neither the National Conference government in 1996-2002 nor the PDP-Congress coalition in 2002-2006 had succeeded in mitigating the sufferings of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. He said that, particularly in the last six years, corruption had become order of the day in the establishment and unemployment had dangerously increased. Tarigami asserted that politicians had politicized the working of the State Vigilance Organisation, State Accountability Commission as well as J&K State Human Rights Commission had been rendered ineffective as their recommendations had not been implemented by the government. He said that scores of judicial and magisterial inquiries had been ordered in the matters of enforced disappearance or custodial killing but none of the findings had been shared with the people at large. He also ridiculed the coalition government's claims of transparency in the recruitment process and alleged that officials and politicians had been fleecing even the poor Anganwari Workers, Asha Workers, ReTs and Casual Labourers who were being forced to shuttle between offices in seeking payment of their wages and salaries. As regards the current Assembly elections, Tarigami, who has been representing Kulgam segment since 1996, disclosed that CPI (M) would contest in 10 segments in Kulgam, Shopian, Jammu and Kathua districts. He said that the democratic system had been achieved after great sacrifices all over the world. In J&K too, he said, people had been getting this opportunity once in six years to reward or punish their representatives and thus making them accountable. He said it was a positive and encouraging development that people had accepted the elections with their massive participation in the Phase-I all over the state, including in three segments of Kashmir valley. On this occasion, Tarigami also released his party's election manifesto which lays considerable stress on facilitation of a meaningful dialogue with the voices of dissent, strengthening of SHRC, general amnesty to political detainees, withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Public Safety Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, reduction of the size of security forces in J&K, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits and other migrants, strengthening of Right to Information Act, implementation of labour laws, empowerment of women, welfare of journalists and writers, equal privileged status to Gujjars, Paharis and Bakerwals besides Police reforms and e-governance.