Ladakh division row: GoI using Guv for ‘anti-Muslim’ agenda in JK, says Mehbooba
Srinagar, Feb 13: Governor Satya Pal Malik was implementing the BJP’s agenda of “dividing people to break” Muslim character of J&K, former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti alleged on Wednesday. Referring to the recent Ladakh division status row, Mehbooba, in a presser here, warned the Government of India to desist from “playing with fire”. “The creation a new division for Ladakh was a selective decision by the Governor who ignored the Muslim dominated Pir Panjal and Chenab valley,” Mehbooba said. “The Central government, through its governor, is taking those decisions, which are against the people and the common sentiment of Jammu and Kashmir. The Centre has to accept that J&K is a Muslim majority state and every decision should be taken by keeping the sentiments of the community into consideration,” she added. The PDP Chief–who by allying with rightwing BJP in 2016 paved its way into J&K’s political annals–said she had already warned the Centre about any decision of announcing “selective division” in the state. “The people of Kargil are agitating for the last four days and people from Pirpanjal and Chenab are also crying discrimination. We had already warned the Centre that any such selective division will have serious consequences,” Mehbooba said. She claimed that there was a Central Government’s “hand” in selecting headquarters at Leh. “Kargil is far from Leh than Srinagar. Till 1992, the administrative units used to be on rotation in Leh and Kargil. People of Kargil are peace-loving, who now have started protesting for the last four days against this discrimination,” she said. Mehbooba demanded rotational headquarters to be set up in Leh and Kargil on the lines of bi-annual Darbar Move in Srinagar and Jammu. “This is a simple solution unless they have a motive to alienate the Muslim majority in the state. The headquarters should be on rotational basis in Kargil and Leh for six months each,” Mehbooba said. She alleged a hidden agenda of the Centre to “disempower” the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir in the decision of ignoring demands of people from Kargil, Pirpanjal and Chenab valley. “Centre is currently dividing Muslims of the state as shia- sunni, Kashmiri- Punjabi and Gujjar-Pahari, which we will never allow to happen,” she said. The former Chief Minister said most of the decision taken during her government are being cancelled or reversed by the Centre. “The government has entered into an agreement to share water of a river in Kathua with Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, which is our right. They are yet to compensate us for the losses met due to the Indus Water treaty,” she said. “Similarly, decision to wave off stamp duty for women has been reversed. Rattle power project is meeting the same fate, which seven power projects met during the tenure of Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah. BJP didn’t allow us to implement forest act, which is applicable across the country,” she said. Mehbooba criticised the state administration for failing to mitigate the suffering of the people stranded on the Srinagar- Jammu National Highway. “I thank the people of Jammu, especially the members of the Sikh community, and people in south Kashmir for arranging langars for the passengers stranded on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. During our tenure there was no hue and cry while all such calamities were dealt speedily,” she said. On incidents of roughing up of Kashmiri stranded passengers in Jammu, she said it was the handiwork of miscreants. “These were miscreants from both the sides. Some of our stranded passengers started sloganeering, which led to the trouble. Jammu people are secular despite presence of many elements who try to communalism the atmosphere,” she said. Asked about her party’s Rajya Sabha member Mohammad Fayaz Mir’s appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider returning the mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru and JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat to their respective families, Mehbooba said the PDP’s stance had not changed and their mortal remains be returned. “Our stance has not changed. We stand by that and want that his (Guru’s) mortal remains be returned to his family,” she said. “Mufti Sahab had resented the execution of Afzal Guru as prior to the incident, he wrote to the president of India. Similarly, after Afzal Guru’s execution a demand was put for the return of his mortal remains,” she said.