NEW DELHI – Iltija Mufti, daughter of former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Friday slammed the government’s move to abrogate the Article 370 and the communication blackout in Kashmir and asked whether Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India or a colony.
Iltija Mufti said that Kashmiri people have been caged for the past month and there was a humanitarian crisis and trauma in the Valley.
“Kashmiris have been caged for the past month. You talk about the future, can we talk about the present first? Can we talk about the humanitarian crisis, economic crisis, psychological crisis, the human trauma that people have been subjected to?” Iltija Mufti told Rajdeep Sardesai in an interview at India Today conclave in Mumbai.
When asked about Article 370 being a stumbling block for Jammu and Kashmir’s integration and the rights of women, Iltija Mufti said that that the Article 370 had nothing to do with development.’
She compared Jammu and Kashmir to other states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and said that the state was faring much better than other states of the country.
“BJP rules states like UP and Bihar which have such bad socio-economic parameters. In comparison, J&K had a much better performance. How do you explain lack of development in state like UP? In Bihar?” Iltija Mufti asked.
On women rights, Iltija said that women in Kashmir are much more emancipated than women in the rest of the country.
“Kashmiri women are much more emancipated than women anywhere else in the country. Our infant and maternal mortality rate is better than most states,” she said.
She also mocked PM Modi’s “ache din aayenge” statement and said, “The government says Article 370 was a stumbling block and that its removal will pave way for development. In 2014, we were told acche din aayenge, aagaye acche din…aa gaye?”
Further, talking about lifting the communication lockdown in Kashmir, Iltija Mufti said, “Because I am waiting…it feels like we have all been waiting it for a century.”
She also said that since the economy was in a slump, moves like abrogating Article 370 was just an excuse to distract the people from real issues.
“They (government) did it (abrogate Article 370) because they had to show 100 din main humne abrogate Kardiya…”
She also said, “The GDP is 5 per cent…a country like Bangladesh has overtaken us…so these (Article 370 being a stumbling block are just excuses.”