February 2019 News
Centre 'playing With Fire' In Jammu And Kashmir: Mehbooba13 February 2019
Srinagar: The Centre is 'playing with fire' in Jammu and Kashmir by 'implementing' BJP's agenda through Governor Satya Pal Malik, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti alleged Wednesday, accusing New Delhi of 'trying to break the Muslim-majority character' of the state. She alleged that the Central government, through the governor, is taking decisions which are against the people and the common sentiment of Jammu and Kashmir. 'The whole country and the Centre should accept that this (J-K) is a Muslim-majority state and the decisions should only be taken after taking care of the sentiments of the larger community as well as the minorities,' Mehbooba told reporters at a press conference here. Referring to the governor administration's decision to grant a division status to the Ladakh region, the former chief minister, said, 'We had warned the government that if you selectively create a division, the consequences would be grave.' 'They not only selectively created a division by ignoring the Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley, but also discriminated in selecting its headquarter. For Kargil, Leh is perhaps far away than Srinagar is,' she said. The state administrative council last week created Ladakh as a separate division in the state and made Leh as its permanent headquarter, leading to protests in Kargil. Mehbooba said there seems to be 'Central government's hand' in the decision. 'We see a hand of the Central government in the decisions being taken now in the state. It seems the agenda, which we did not allow the BJP to implement (when PDP-BJP coalition was in power), is being implemented now through the governor which has led to a volatile situation in Kargil which otherwise was a peaceful area,' she said. Demanding rotational headquarter in Leh and Kargil as well as a separate division for Pir Panjal and Chenab valley, Mehbooba said the failure to do so would mean there is 'some hidden agenda to disempower the Muslims of J-K and divide them on religious and sectarian lines'. Mehbooba thanked the people of Jammu, especially the members of the Sikh community, and people in south Kashmir for arranging langars for the passengers stranded on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway which had remained closed for about a week due to snowfall. She criticised the state administration for allegedly not doing enough to mitigate the sufferings of the people stranded on the highway. Asked about her party's Rajya Sabha member Mohammad Fayaz Mir appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider returning the mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat to their respective families, Mehbooba said the PDP's stance had not changed and their mortal remains should be returned. 'Our stance has not changed. We stand by that and want that his mortal remains be returned to his family,' she said. Mir made the appeal in a letter to the Prime Minister on Monday, saying he was sure the sense of 'alienation' among the Kashmiris would come down by several notches if the Centre decided to return the mortal remains of Guru and Bhat.