For A Change, Mirwaiz Talks Bijli, Pani, Sadak31 December 2010
Srinagar: Shifting focus from the usual separatist politics for a while, the Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday took the Jammu and Kashmir Government head on vis-à-vis governance, accusing it of failing to live up to its promise of providing quality Bijli, Sadak, Pani to people. Mirwaiz, whose Friday sermon at historic Jamia Masjid here would normally be politically loaded, today rued the lack of basic amenities for the people of Kashmir, categorically accusing the state Government of failing to provide good administration on ground. “The incumbent Government came to power after promising good governance to people. But it has miserably failed to alleviate the sufferings of the people, who are in misery because of erratic power supply, dilapidated roads and dismal water supply,” Mirwaiz said in his Friday sermon at Jamia Masjid today. The major portion of his speech revolved around local issues. “The pro-India political leaders, running the state Government today, fought the assembly elections in 2008 on the plank of Bijli, Pani and Sadak. They even went to the extent of de-linking administration from politics on the assertion that the political issue of Kashmir was for India, Pakistan and Kashmir to settle while people need the basic amenities on ground which can be provided through good governance. But it has miserably failed to come up to the expectations of the people,” Mirwaiz said. “The Government is not making any effort to provide good administration to the people and ease their sufferings. This is unfortunate, to say the least.” Citing fresh snowfall in Kashmir in the past two days, the Mirwaiz said few inches of show exposed the state Government on the governance front. “You can see how few inches of snow disrupted the power, water and communication system in Kashmir. With this administrative collapse, the people are suffering,” he said. Mirwaiz didn’t stop there. “The pro-India political parties in Kashmir have been making tall promises with the people since 1947 in a bid to come to power. But these promises were never fulfilled. Kashmir was self-reliant in so many sectors in the past. But today the scenario is such that almost all basic amenities have to be procured from various Indian states. And if the Srinagar-Jammu highway closes for a while, people suffer for want of essential commodities,” he said. Mirwaiz said it is now clear that the state Government had created a ‘false impression’ that they were committed to provide better administration to people. “There is no accountability in administration. We are indeed going from bad to worse given people’s suffering on ground,” he said. Mirwaiz, however, concluded the speech on a political note, clearly linking good governance with the larger issue of Kashmir. “Unless the issue of Kashmir is resolved, peace will continue to elude Jammu and Kashmir and it would be impossible to go for any development and socio-economic betterment,” he said, asserting that it was high time for India, Pakistan and Kashmiris to sit together to find a durable and ever-lasting solution to Kashmir dispute.