Mufti Calls India 'Banana Republic'

SRINAGAR: A day after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah questioned the wisdom of executing parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, pro-India opposition People's Democratic Party in the state called India a "banana republic".

Former chief minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Monday evening issued a statement, accusing the central government of a "narrow-minded approach (that) has caused serious setbacks to the peace process".

Mufti said: "It is no good to regret the inability of the government to deny Afzal's family a last mandatory meeting with him or deny his body to the family."

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said: "This reduces Mahatama Gandhi's country, the world's largest democracy and a genuine candidate for super power status, to a banana republic."

Mufti was home minister of the country in the shortlived V.P. Singh government from 1989-1990.

Mufti urged the central government to "roll back the draconian measures in Kashmir, which have caused a whole population to be imprisoned".

He blamed Delhi for what has been happening in the Valley, claiming that law and order is a state subject and measures like curfew have been taken by Omar Abdullah.

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