AFSPA Cause Of Shopian-like Incidents: Mufti

16 August 2009
Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has said inability of the State to solve the Shopian double rape and murder case and other such atrocities owed itself to the general atmosphere of non-accountability of troops and other such agencies in J&K. This, he said, stemmed from laws like AFSPA that grant immunity to violators of human rights. Addressing a workers’ convention in Pulwama today, Mufti said revocation of harsh laws and revival of civil society institutions without the intruding presence of security forces was one of the prime objectives of the Self Rule vision. This, he said, was the essential first step for any forward movement on resolution of the larger problem of Jammu & Kashmir. Referring to the stalled peace process, Mufti urged Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to initiate substantial and visible action to arrest the rising levels of alienation and unrest in the state. He said while it was good to refer to the “successful election process in the state,” as the prime minister did in his I-Day address, it would be dangerous to see that as end of the problem. “Real beginning has to be made now to build on the trust reposed by the people in the democratic process for a final resolution,” he said and cautioned ‘otherwise we could be back to square one.’ Mufti said the post and pre-election events in the state should be enough to help understand the fundamental fact of J&K that the surface calm should not delude anyone into mistaking it for disappearance of the problem. “It will be solved only through a sincere and focused effort on the part of our country and Pakistan while taking care of the sensibilities, sufferings and development needs of the people of all regions and sub regions of state,” he stressed. Mufti said Self Rule has the potential of scripting a new destiny for the people of both parts of the divided state who have been striving for dignity and progress for centuries. The vision evolved by the PDP had all the elements of a viable resolution formula that could restore the historic identity of Jammu & Kashmir as a distinct entity while respecting the sensitivities of both India and Pakistan. He said while being achievable the Self Rule vision also offered a feasible framework for the internal and external dimensions of the problem that has been eluding solution for decades. The PDP patron said the two parts of the erstwhile state could come together into its original form through the Self Rule formulation without altering the borders or impinging on the sovereignty of either country. This could unleash new creative energies in the region spurring forces of growth, energy and friendship he said.