Accusing the BJP government of having turned into the “modern-day East India Company”, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday castigated the party leadership for “bulldozing” the democratic ethos and institutions of the country. She equated the present day style of functioning of the BJP government with the “erstwhile East India Company which only bothered about land and resources and not the people and their aspirations”.
“For BJP like East India Company every citizen of the country is a suspect and guilty until proven innocent,” she said.
She said people in the rest of the country should not remain, silent spectators, while the voice of residents of J&K was being muzzled.
Emphasising the need for a shift from the “security-centric approach in Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba said it is high time that the idea to look at J&K through the security prism alone be given up. Such an approach has miserably failed to achieve the desired results. J&K has to be looked at as a political and human problem. It is an issue of people desirous of peace with dignity and identity.”
Mehbooba was speaking on the 22nd foundation day of the PDP in a function in Srinagar. She reiterated the PDP’s commitment to the founding philosophy and agenda of the party and said the party would continue to advocate peace with dignity through dialogue and reconciliation, struggle for the identity and rights of the people of J&K.
Recalling the turbulent times when the party was established to provide a political alternative and a meaningful agenda for peace, dignity and development in Jammu & Kashmir, she underlined the relevance of the guiding principles and ethos of PDP which is to advocate and facilitate resolution through dialogue and reconciliation, peace with dignity and equitable development.
“Illegal and unconstitutional actions of 5 August 2019 and beyond have only added to the complexities of J&K issue whereby those with full faith in the democratic and constitutional mechanism of our country have been deeply hurt and they feel betrayed. While we have taken it upon ourselves to struggle for our identity and rights by all peaceful and constitutional means, we are also not losing the sight of the bigger picture and would continue to advocate the resolution through dialogue and reconciliation to bring about lasting peace not only in Jammu and Kashmir but the entire subcontinent,” Mehbooba said.
It is our belief that peace in the South Asian region and prosperity of people is subservient to sustainable peace in J&K and the only way to achieve it would be to follow up on what Mufti Syed had envisioned and even executed when at the helm of affairs from 2002-2005, she said.
Senior party leaders, AR Veeri, GN Lone Hanjura, Sartaj Madni, Naeem Akhtar and Mehboob Beg were among those present.