Govt should focus on solving general issues than conducting polls, says Dy Grand Mufti
Srinagar, Jan 30: A civil society group on Tuesday criticised the state government for focussing on panchayat elections instead of the “general problems faced by the people of Kashmir”. Addressing a press conference here, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam of the Jammu & Kashmir Civil Society Coordination Committee said, “Before focusing on the panchayat elections, the government shall look into the general problems faced by the people of Kashmir. There are 20 lakh educated, unemployed youths in the valley.” Islam came down heavily on the PDP-BJP government, accusing them of taking Jammu and Kashmir towards the “path of destruction”. “Tell me, how many youths got a job under the leadership of Mehbooba Mufti? What has she done for them?” asked Islam. “There was no mention of our unemployed youths in the recent budget either. The government is doing nothing for them.” Islam also blamed the Centre for “plundering” the economic resources such as water, which, he said, is a “natural wealth” of the people of J&K. “Our natural wealth is illegally and unlawfully drained by the Indian government through its instrumentalities particularly though NHPC, which has taken control of our water resources and is earning a yearly profit of Rs 74,000 crore,” he said. Islam said that the impact of GST has “shattered” the J&K’s economy, and have demanded the Government of India to hand over all the power projects to the State. “I also demand the royalty of Indus Water Treaty to be paid to J&K. These are few ways our unemployed youths will get employment at the state level,” Islam added. Mir Javed, who was also the part of the press conference, termed the panchayat polls are “nothing but a futile exercise”. “The panchayat elections happen for the improvement of rural areas, right? What major developments have happened in the villages?” Javed questioned. “They don’t even have regular electricity there,” he added. As per Javed, the announcement of holding panchayat elections is only to “hoodwink the public opinions from ground realities”. The grand deputy Mufti said that his main role as a leader is to “create awareness” among the people of Kashmir against the “wrongdoings” of the government. Referring to the recent Shopian firing, Islam blamed the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for shedding “crocodile tears” over the killing of civilians in Kashmir and supporting the Narendra Modi government. “The way our youngsters are getting killed is ridiculously shameful. Mehbooba as a leader should raise the issue of Armed Forces Special Powers Acts,” he said. “If you ask me, Mehbooba should ditch BJP and rather work together for the betterment of Kashmir. But she wants to remain in power,” Islam added. Islam also accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “casteist” who is making the livelihood of the Muslims in India “pathetic day by day”. “Muslims around the country are harassed in the name of love jihad, cow vigilante, and triple talaq,” he said. Islam believes that Muslims being the second largest community in India should demand a “separate country”. “Pakistan was formed with a population of 17 crores. The way the situation is going on, I think the Muslims in India should now demand a separate country,” said Islam. Islam also said that people of Kashmir couldn’t be “fooled” anymore, and sooner or later, “India will be forced to leave Kashmir”. “I am telling this openly, Kashmir was, is, and never will be a part of India,” he said.