Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s call, on Tuesday, to the national leadership to show the element of compassion and display the statesmanship to get Jammu and Kashmir out of this “vicious cycle of killings” is yet another desperate attempt to invite the attention of central government towards ever deteriorating situation in Kashmir. Her appeal came after killing of a Tamil Nadu tourist at Narbal in central Kashmir during stone pelting by a street mobbing who were protesting against the killing of 10 persons including five Hizbul Mujahideen commanders in Shopian. While the chief minister avoided commenting on the killing of six civilians (another boy succumbed to injuries in hospital on Tuesday), she showed up along the slain tourists father with a grim face. Last month, Mehbooba while addressing the 64th convention and exhibition of the Travel Agents
Association of India (TAAI) in Srinagar complained that she had been left alone by India to deal with the difficult situation facing the state. She said there were many ways to deal with the situation but “we are using only one way, which is to fight the gun with a gun. The wounds inflicted in the process also need to be treated and if anyone can treat those wounds, it is the people of the country, it is you. On March 28 on BJP’s foundation day, she, after congratulating the BJP on the day, made a passionate appeal to the political leadership, cutting across political lines, to “listen to the voices of pain of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and help them in getting out of it”. Central government is conveniently ignoring Mehbooba’s appeals despite a merit in them. Mehbooba Mufti perhaps ignores the fact that she is dealing with a Prime Minister who publicly disregarded his father Mufti Mohammad Saeed and said “he does not need any advice on Kashmir from anyone”. That should have served as a notice to Mehbooba Mufti that her business with the BJP could not be normal. In no other Indian state is a chief minister so humiliated and criticized for raising s genuine voice regarding the situation in his or her state as in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mehbooba is virtually mauled by news channels day in and day out for one or the other issue. It is almost a daily business for the TV news channels to pick some bit of chief minister’s statement and build story on it to disgrace her. What is more conspicuous in these debates is the sadistic pleasure BJP representatives derive out of Mehbooba’s humiliation. No chief minister has ever been humiliated and insulted so publicly as Mehbooba Mufti. The News channels unleashed a war against Mehbooba Mufti, through debates and news reports, for giving
amnesty to “stone pelters’ after the death of Tamil Nadu tourist. Nobody in these debates raised finger towards central government that the amnesty had come from home minister of India at the recommendations of Denishwar Sharma, the Prime Minister’s point man on
Kashmir. She, however, appears to be eating the humble pie without feeling any insult or shame. It is unfathomable why PDP is playing as second fiddle to the BJP. Ever since it joined hands with BJP to form government in the state, PDP has been shamed and embarrassed by its
partner on dozens of occasions. Only recently, when Mehbooba Mufti asked for dialogue between India and Pakistan, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav snubbed her as she was nobody to decide about talks. Let chief minister recall a single occasion when she was not humiliated by
the BJP on issues of political and public matter ever since she became the chief minister.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is under attack from BJP on various fronts. Its constitutional privileges have been challenged in the court of law. Issuing permanent state subject status to non-state subjects like West Pakistan refugees, setting up separate residential colonies for soldiers and Kashmiri Pandits are some of the fronts the BJP and its satellite groups have opened up against Jammu and Kashmir. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti should rise above power politics and stonewall this onslaught. Mehbooba Mufti does not need to be told that she is chief minister not because of some favour by the BJP but by the choice of the people of the state. BJP’s ministers and leaders’ activities in and outside the government are very disturbing, which cannot be ignored. Mehbooba Mufti should open her eyes and ears and should see and listen to what is going on in and outside her government.
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