Mufti Should Resign over Detention of Hurriyat Leaders: NC

SRINAGR: Expressing regret over the uncertainty preceding the scheduled NSA-level talks between New Delhi and Islamabad, National Conference on Saturday said the detention of Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi was part of an understanding between the Central Government and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

NC spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said it had become evident and apparent that J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had arrived at an understanding with the Central Government and the BJP to remain silent of the detention of Hurriyat leaders in exchange for the BJP’s assurance that they would desist from destabilizing his Government in J&K. “If this isn’t the case, Mufti Sayeed should resign as the Chief Minister,” the NC Spokesperson said.

“We have entered a new territory of irony and U-turns in J&K. The same Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who advocated dialogue between Hurriyat, New Delhi and Islamabad went on to become the Chief Minister who put Hurriyat leaders under house arrest to prevent them from going to New Delhi. He arrested the Hurriyat leaders on demand from New Delhi and released them on demand from New Delhi. This is clearly yet another incident that has exposed that the ‘CMP’ between PDP and BJP that promised dialogue with stakeholders internally and between New Delhi and Islamabad was nothing but a moral-smokescreen to justify Mufti Sahab’s complete sell-out to the BJP to become the Chief Minister,” Mattu said.

“The other possibility that some PDP leaders are peddling is that Mufti Sayeed didn’t know about the house arrests of Hurriyat leaders, nor was he the one to set them free. As improbable as this proposition might be given Mufti’s clear understanding with the BJP over preventing an engagement with the Hurriyat, it is equally damning and condemnable. If arrests are being made in J&K without the knowledge, leave alone consent of the elected Chief Minister (who also happens to be the Home Minister) – one can safely deduce that the State Government has been divested of its constitutional law and order jurisdiction and role.”

The NC spokesperson said the meeting between Hurriyat leaders and visiting Pakistani delegations and representatives was nothing new and were usually the side consultations which were mostly ignored by the media and allowed to take place by successive Central Governments. “All previous governments including the Government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee allowed Hurriyat to meet visiting Pakistani delegations and this was never allowed to become a provocation that could hamper dialogue. Now, the meeting between the Hurriyat leadership and the Pakistani NSA has been elevated to the Central Issue – which has in turn created a situation of grave uncertainty,” he said.

 “We hope the dialogue takes place and that it isn’t called off. We think it is unfortunate that Hurriyat leaders have been detained in New Delhi especially after PDP and BJP promised in their ‘CMP’ that an engagement of this sort would be encouraged and facilitated to help in the resolution of the political issue in Kashmir.”

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