Mufti Says, Delhi’s Media-posturing Counter-productive

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SRINAGAR – Terming media-posturing a futile exercise that can prove counter productive, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today called New Delhi to go for a serious dialogue to address internal dimension of Kashmir issue.

Addressing a party workers meeting at Chrar-e-Shareif in Budgam, Mufti said a structural dialogue with all stake holders was need of the hour and New Delhi should shun its policy of taking event based initiatives to address the grievances of people in Jammu and Kashmir. He said there is no substitute to resolving the Kashmir issue that has dampened the immense economic potential of sub continent for decades  and bruised the body and soul of Jammu and Kashmir. “Talking to media on such an important issue can prove counterproductive. The government of India must address the internal dimension of Kashmir issue by putting together all stake holders on table,” he remarked.

Referring to the lead taken by Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2003 during his visit to Kashmir, Mufti said it had come against a grim and potentially disastrous scenario as the two nuclear armies were in combat position following the attack on the Parliament. He said the announcement made by Mr Vajpayee on April 18, 2003 at Srinagar was historic because he had extended hands of friendship towards Pakistan at that time. Mufti said the process of dialogue should not become a zero sum game as a result of partisan political interest.

He said the country has to respond to the pain and aspirations of the state in a positive manner and all sections of political opinion have to lend a helping hand in this endeavour. The PDP patron said any progress achieved since 2003 on the diplomatic and political front on Kashmir issue internally or with Pakistan had become possible only because the UPA government had carried forward the historic initiates taken by Mr Vajpayee. “It is now the turn of the NDA and especially the BJP to stop viewing any dialogue with Pakistan with suspicion and lend support to the new efforts”, he said.

Peace process has to be driven by long term goals of conflict resolution and cooperation rather than be confined to confidence building. In this context he said while small steps like allowing the return of youth from Pak were welcome, the CBMs introduced in the past seem to have been neglected. “The trade and travel across the LOC had virtually become a hostage to the hassles of procedure and the government of India should do everything that is needed to harness its full potential,” he added. J&K could in fact become a model for implementing the SAARC model for economic cooperation if the trade and travel between two parts of the erstwhile state were institutionalized, he said. 

Reiterating his party’s resolve to address internal dimension of the Kashmir problem, he reminded that it was during the PDP-Congress regime that some effective steps were taken for the empowerment to various regions and sub-regions. He told the gathering that Self-Rule proposal of the party was aimed to removing regional disparities.

The former Chief Minister reminded that PDP led regime in the State had proved how to change the life of people by following pro-people policies. “We had just 16 members in our kitty but we took pro-people revolutionary steps to provide justice to the all sections of the society”, he said and added that it was only during PDP led regime that governance consciousness was generated in the people of the State. He added that during the PDP led regime that every regions and sub-regions of the state were treated equally.

Mufti said PDP envisaged a system of fair governance and transparency where people would really feel empowered. “It hardly matters whether we form the government or any other political party but we are committed to the cause of establishing a system that can withstood all pressures and manipulations of political elites,” he said adding that his party will continue to work for making political class accountable to the people.

Taking a jibe at National Conference led coalition government for undermining democratic institutions through deceit tactics, he said that PDP led regime had not only brought accountability and transparency in the government but also revived peoples’ faith in the democracy. “The way present regime has betrayed people who had over-whelming participated in the Panchayat elections is a clear indication that this government is not interested to strengthen democratic institutions in the State”, he said and regretted that peoples’ faith in democracy has badly shattered due to such mis-deeds of the government during the last about four years.

Mufti was accompanied by Ghulam Nabi Hanjura former chairman Legislative Council, Saif-u-Din Bhat, party district president Budgam, Raja Muzaffar Bhat, and Nazir Ahmad Yatoo general secretary party’s

youth wing.

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