Trust Deficit Between Govt, People On Rise: Mufti

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Srinagar Sept 17: Regretting that the congenial atmosphere for a resolution of J&K problem created painstakingly by the previous coalition had been undone, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said striving for power is only one aspect of politics in the state. Addressing a workers convention of the party in Beerwah constituency today he said while it was a legitimate right of political parties to seek people’s mandate for government formation the larger issue of bringing a peaceful resolution of Jammu & Kashmir problem cannot be avoided without complicating matters further.

Mufti said it was a painful fact that the atmosphere of trust and reconciliation that had been built to some extent with establishment of communication lines at different levels between India and Pakistan and our state and rest of the country had suffered immensely during the last four years owing to lack of political direction. He said instead of building on those gains the present dispensation had reversed every policy to help its survival. “The trust deficit between the government and people had increased as a result of maladministration, corruption and breakdown of political contact” he said.

Mufti said while the state government has been unable to project the aspirations of people before the central government effectively for speeding up resolution process, internally it has resorted to most undemocratic methods to deal with the sentiments of disaffection. Opposition leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Yaseen Malik, Shabir Shah, Nayeem Khan and other Hurriyat leaders a routinely caged and prevented even from offering prayers he said. “Is our democratic system so weak that we should use police and prison instead of dialogue and debate to carry out the battle of ideas that it actually is” Mufti asked and said this was a complete reversal of what had been achieved by his government after decades of denial of freedom of speech in the state.

Mufti said J&K had been opened up to people to people contact with the areas across LOC which saw groups of businessmen, journalists and opinion makers visiting each other almost as a routine. He said the opening of routes for travel and trade across LOC represented the first major concession to the people of the state and it should have been followed up effectively to take it to the next level of our vision for a Free Economic Zone. “But instead of following the positive and result oriented policies this government only squeezed space for dialogue, victimized youth and political opponents and surrendered state’s prestige, authority and resources” Mufti added. He said PDP with the support of people would strive for revival of the peace process between India and Pakistan and center and the state to bring an end to our miseries.

Reiterating PDP’s resolve to pursue the pro-peace agenda forcefully, Mufti said it was only during the regime of PDP that dignity and honour of the people of Jammu and Kashmir was restored. He said PDP had pioneered a peace and reconciliation process which was endorsed by the successive regimes at New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari the PDP vice president said that it seems the state government is on holiday as the ministers are busy enjoying personal luxuries in foreign countries. “Currently four including three senior ministers along with their staff is on foreign tour to USA, Sri Lanka, England and other countries. But enjoying personal luxuries at the cost of state exchequer has reached to a ridiculous level because of the present government,” Ansari said.

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