JK Lost Its 'important Position' In 1947: Mufti2 July 2011
Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, Saturday said that while India and Pakistan achieved freedom in 1947 from British Empire ‘Jammu and Kashmir lost its important position.’ “Our all doors and entry points were closed with the freedom of India and Pakistan. Our business ties with Tashkent, China, Lahore, Delhi and Amrtisar were closed after 1947,” Mufti told a public gathering in Sumbal area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. He urged the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to set the process of addressing internal dimension of Kashmir issue into motion by taking some urgent and solid action to restore confidence among people. Mufti said the credibility of resolution process could not be restored so long as the voice of dissent is muzzled. “The minimum that the Prime Minister can do to create a congenial atmosphere is to order release of all political prisoners and the youth who are in jails without any trial,” he said. The PDP patron said democracy loses meaning the moment any body’s right of expression and dissent is curbed without a reason. He said democracy is a battle of ideas and dissent is its essence. “It is unfortunate that the state has had to suffer constant denial of right to differ he said and maintained that PDP was the first party that legitimized dissent in Jammu & Kashmir which was other wise dubbed as anti national,” he said. Without naming separatist leaders and militant leadership, he said, “In 1987 they were part of the election process. But rigging happened and they lost. Today everybody wants them to be part of democratic process, but they aren’t ready now.” Giving a few instances of the prisoners currently held in jails Mufti said Qazi Yasir’s imprisonment was like a black spot on our system. He said the young religious leader from Islamabad who was himself orphaned in tragic circumstances lost his uncle Qazi Amanullah and was not allowed to even have a meeting with him. “When PDP president Mehbooba Mufti urged a top government department official to release Yasir to enable him to attend the funeral of his uncle it was expected that he would be released without conditions,” he said. Mufti regretted that Yasir was rearrested barely an hour of the funeral leaving the bereaved family under a multiple shock. “Could this be called a democratic conduct of the government” he wondered. He said similarly Ashraf Sehrai who is held for a long time in jail is an octogenarian and could never be a threat to law and order if he is allowed to operate politically. Ghulam Nabi Sumji another elderly leader, he pointed out, has a close kin fighting a serious ailment but he is not able even to see her. The PDP patron said J&K had come a long way from the days when a single party monopolized the political space and could crush dissent in the name of upholding national interest. “PDP is here as a watch dog of your interests” he told the people and recalled how he had convinced even the BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee of the need to address Kashmir politically rather than continuing with the strong arm tactics that had been fallowed since 1947 without allowing democratic voices to be raised. He said the United States along with its own might and NATO resources has been using its formidable war machine in Afghanistan for the last One Decade. But for a resolution they have to talk to the people of Afghanistan which is the golden rule for conflict resolution any where. Mufti said the immediate confidence building measures must include reduction of troops from civilian areas and revocation of AFSPA so that the democratic aspirations of the people can bloom fully as is happening else where in the country. He said the internal dimension can not wait for the completion of resolution process with Pakistan. “What should be done first must be done first” he asserted. He claimed that if there was any turning point in the history of J&K after 1947, it was opening of Srinagar-Muzafarabad bus on April 7, 2005, when he was Chief Minister of the state.