Reiterating that muscular policies will only prove counterproductive in tackling the present crises in Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister Mehboba Mufti said on Tuesday if her party came to power, it would scarp the ban imposed by the government on JKLF and Jamaat-e-Islami.
Addressing the workers’ convention in north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Mehbooba said banning organisations like Jamaat-e-Islami and JKLF would have far reaching consequences and such measures would only increase the level of alienation and frustration among the people.
She said PDP had a clear stand that ideas could not be chained, banned or killed. “In democracy, ideas are allowed to flourish and not choked. By taking such undemocratic, unconstitutional and unnatural measures, the government in actual is trying to show its electorate how tough it is against the Muslims and against Jammu and Kashmir,” Mehbooba said in her address while assuring that if PDP returned to power, it would make strenuous efforts to undo the BJP’s wrongs and revoke the ban imposed on Jamaat-e-Islami and JKLF.
She said it had been the prime agenda of the PDP that the muscular approach would not take the state anywhere as this had been tried for many decades and hadn’t yielded any positive outcome. She said it was unfortunate that some people still believed in the efficacy of these methods and were trying to repeat the old mistakes which would be meaningless and prove counter productive.
Hailing the decision taken by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to open the Sharda Peeth corridor for Hindu devotees, Mehbooba said such opportunities needed to be grabbed at the earliest so that the dream of a peaceful South Asia was realised without any further delay.
She said Sharda Peeth in Kashmir across the Line of Control was a major centre of learning on par with the ancient seats of learning Nalanda and Taxila, and opening of the shrine would facilitate hassle-free visit of Hindu devotees and pilgrims. “The reality must dawn upon those at the helm that trigger happy approach will not solve the Jammu and Kashmir problem. Confidence building measures, dialogue and reconciliation are the only ways that could protect the state from an apocalypse,” Mehbooba said.
The PDP president also cautioned that any fiddling with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was fraught with dangerous consequences and had the tendency to turn the state into a war theatre. “PDP government in spite of being in coalition with the BJP didn’t allow the later to fulfil its nefarious agenda in Kashmir and the government employed country’s best lawyers for the protection of Article 35-A in the Supreme Court. We strongly believe that the constitution of the country has enough space to accommodate aspirations of Jammu and Kashmir but unfortunately the atmosphere is fouled by the attempts being made to fiddle with its special status and louse of mistrust has risen out of that,” Mehbooba said, adding that any such attempt made through the legal or administrative route would be unacceptable to the people pf the state.
Other senior PDP leaders who were present on the occasion included party patron Muzaffar Hussain Beigh, party’s candidate for Baramulla Lok Sabha seat Abdul Qayoom Wani, Dr Mehboob Beg, Mohammad Dilawar Mir, Javed Beigh, Safina Beigh , Yawar Mir and Shabir Mir.