PDP Chief Condemns Bomai Killings, Rules Out Pre-poll Alliance
16 March 2009
The Indian Express
: Condemning the killing of two civilians by the Rashtriya Rifles in Bomai in February, former J-K CM and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said the Army could be made accountable for its human rights violations only after the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state. 'There has been no action on promises like the zero tolerance for human rights violations by the government. Earlier the government promised that there will be a probe into the Bomai killings and the inquiry report will be tabled before the state legislature. But there has been no action on it,' said the PDP patron. He said that despite a recommendation for the withdrawal of the AFSPA by one of the Prime Minister's working groups headed by Hamid Ansari, no action had been taken on the issue. While Sayeed clarified that the PDP would not enter into a pre-poll alliance with any party and would contest all six LS seats in the state on its own, he did not explicitly rule out joining the Third Front. He said that it was too premature to commit on the issue and an alliance with the Front could only be considered after the Lok Sabha results. 'PDP has got enough space to carry forward its agenda and we have an independent identity in the state. We are happy that the people have given us the role of a constructive opposition in the state,' Sayeed said. He criticised the ruling NC-Congress alliance saying that the two parties had failed to arrive at any common minimum programme due to the sharp differences over key political issues and had not kept any of their promises, including providing jobs to unemployed youth in the state. Welcoming the restoration of Pak Chief Justice of Supreme Court in Pakistan, Iftikar Choudhary, he said that democracy was the only solution to Pakistan's problems and opposed the interference of the Army in Pakistan's polity. He also emphasised that the strengthening of the confidence building measures, which the PDP has already reiterated in its self rule document, would improve relations between India and Pakistan . ' Free movement of trade across the Line of Control is important for the restoration of confidence building measures between India and Pakistan. A safe and secure Pakistan is also good for Kashmir as there is a direct impact of the conditions in the neighbouring country on it,' Mufti said.