Slamming the Modi government on the Hijab controversy, PDP chief and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday accused the BJP of “targeting symbols” of Muslims.
Talking to media persons in Srinagar, Mehbooba referred to the hijab row in Karnataka and said; “I fear BJP won’t stop at hijab. They will come for other symbols of Muslims and erase all. For Indian Muslims, it is not enough to be an Indian, they have to be BJP as well.”
Meanwhile, National Conference chief and sitting MP Farooq Abdullah, who was in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, also raised apprehensions that the hijab issue was being used for electoral gains.
Abdullah said; “Everyone has the right to wear and eat as they wish and is free to practise their religious beliefs. There are some radical elements who are attacking religion in an attempt to win polls by dividing people into communal lines”, he said on the sidelines of his visit to Pulwama.
Mehbooba, who earlier presided over a meeting of the Political Affairs Committee of the PDP, said that the situation in Kashmir has worsened after the abrogation of Article 370. She alleged that democracy is being “gagged” in Kashmir and no one is allowed to speak the truth while revocation of Article 370 has further complicated the Kashmir issue.
Mehbooba said that the Narendra Modi government shall have to follow the footsteps of the towering BJP leader Atal Behari Vajpayee and talk to Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue and restore peace between the two countries.
“There is no alternative to dialogue with Pakistan for resolving all issues including the political issue of Kashmir,” she said.
She said that the impression that the Kashmir issue was settled after revocation of article 370 has proved totally wrong on the ground.
“The fact remains that the rollback of the special status of J&K has further complicated the Kashmir issue. One of the serious repercussions seen at the international level is that India is being isolated on the issue,” she said.
The PDP chief said that situation in Kashmir is worse than ever. “No one is feeling safe. Be it a common man or a journalist. Journalism is seen as a crime and truth is being throttled,” she alleged, adding that “many journalists have been put behind the bars. Many have fled Kashmir after being named in FIRs. How can things work and truth prevail in such conditions.” She urged international bodies to raise voices for the immediate release of journalists.
Referring to the draft proposals of the Delimitation Commission, Mehbooba alleged that the Commission was trying to please the BJP by irrationally dissecting the assembly and parliamentary constituencies.
The commission has appeased BJP by advocating something that is totally unacceptable to all. “The report aims to pitch one community against another in J&K, something BJP likes,” she said.
Mehbooba warned that the Gupkar Alliance (PAGD) will tooth and nail fight the wrong policies of BJP in J&K. “Efforts are being made to demolish the PAGD, but we will remain steadfast and fight together”.