Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said response of union government to the current crisis in the state borders on an insult to people of Kashmir. Commenting on the official announcement at the end of the meeting convened by prime minister last evening to discuss Kashmir situation he said linking the genuine anger and anguish among people here with terrorism was nothing short of an assault on their self respect and dignity.
Mufti said it appears disconnect between the union and the state is deliberately being fuelled to push the people to wall and justify the crackdown on unarmed people. “We have been on the receiving end of the antinational label for too long and dubbing an entire people as being vulnerable to inspired influences raises questions not just about this place but the whole idea of India” he said.
At a time when Kashmir is mourning its dead and trying hard to come to terms with its huge loss, school going teenagers at that, Mufti said the state deserved a statesmanly response of empathy if not sympathy from the prime minister which unfortunately was missing from the terse government communiqué. Instead what has been promised is “more force” as if there still were any gaps left in the over militarized place which in fact is yearning for a reduction in troops he said and added it was sad the basic nature of the problem in Kashmir was being missed in the totally bureaucratic approach in evidence now. Less force not more is the need of hour, he remarked.
He said, the people of Kashmir have been forced to demonstrate in absence of a response to their sentiments and the government was reacting only through use of force and more force on them. Unabated human rights violations have caused genuine concern which instead of being addressed politically and with compassion was outsourced to security forces giving rise to a chain reaction of events resulting in death of scores of people including school going children. Bad and insensitive governance only made things worse which could further deteriorate if the response even now is not revised.
Expressing dismay at the attempts to relate the political crisis in the state to the Amarnath Yatra, Mufti said propounders of this thoughtless conspiracy angle are doing no service either to the country or the smooth passage of the pilgrimage. “Amarnath Yatra is integral to Kashmiri ethos” he said and added the people here do not need any lessons in communal harmony as they have historically been the best guarantee for the hospitality and security of the pilgrims. He recalled how in 2008 people had hosted the pilgrims with affection and love even at the height of tension and amid death of scores of peaceful demonstrators. He said he had no doubt that Kashmir would continue with its tradition of hospitality no matter what the provocations are from the government.