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PDP, BJP are partners in crime, no one trusts us: Tasaduq Mufti

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New Delhi, Apr 13: Denouncing his own party for “non-fulfilling of commitments”, Jammu and Kashmir tourism minister and brother of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, Tasaduq Mufti has said “we (PDP) have ended up being partners in a crime (with BJP) that an entire generation of Kashmiris might have to pay with their blood”.
In a freewheeling interview with The Indian Express, Tasaduq has said: “I am not going to be quiet and act as if I am unmoved by the tragedy that is unfolding at ground level, just because I am part of the government. All lives matter. Lives of the people on both sides of ideological divide. And this is a government for the people and I see nothing wrong in standing with the people to find a solution to the ongoing crisis’’.
“Today the threat is that while we are in control, we are no longer trusted. We were supposed to be partners in rebuilding of this place but, sad to admit this, due to the non-fulfilling of commitments, we have ended up being partners in a crime that an entire generation of Kashmiris might have to pay with their blood,” report quoted Tasaduq as having said.
Tasaduq, who was a cinematographer before joining politics and holds tourism portfolio, as per report said: “I do not wish to talk about tourism at a time when a mood of bereavement has filled the Kashmir valley…Tourism in Kashmir has suffered a huge setback whenever there is violence because it is an industry for which peace is imperative. No one can risk his life and visit a place where he doesn’t get a sense of joy.’’
“I do not want that the number of passenger planes landing at Srinagar airport is used as a counter-argument to the number of coffins that are interned elsewhere. I don’t want that we have to hide our tears from our guests and hide our guests from the mourners on the streets. I am not for importing crowds of people to camouflage the immense outpouring of grief that has become a part of our daily life. Instead, I am for a tourism that is seen as a sincere developmental exercise by our people and not as a military operation. My tourism is for the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh first and then for everyone else,” Tasaduq was quoted in the report as having said.
In his stern message to the Center to hold talks to end the current imbroglio in Kashmir, Tasaduq as per report said: “…give up its obduracy and recognise the problem at hand, de-escalate tension, resume the political process”.
On Kathua minor rape and murder, Tasaduq said: “The brutal murder-rape of a tribal child and the subsequent communal politics over it has pushed the state to a new low and brought shame to all of us…If coalition politics is about living with a series of failures and ignominies, then I am sorry I don’t know how to hide my awkwardness and discomfort with it”.
Tasaduq in his interview also expressed concern over the use of pellets on protestors in Kashmir.
“No war can be won against the people and this is something we must not lose sight of. The government can’t wait to see who blinks first. Immediate political reach out is needed. The onus is on the Centre to find ways and means to engage people. Talking to Pakistan is important and political hawkishness might apepar to give us temporary gains but in the long term it can damage us severely,” Tasaduq was quoted as having said.
“We find ourselves today at the cross roads of despair and abandonment. We are seen as a government which has a lot of money to build latrines, to install transformers and to repair potholes but has no word of sympathy to offer to a hurt, alienated population. The only Centrally sponsored scheme that could have worked in Kashmir was a credible political initiative backed by the Centre that would be a departure from similar engagements of the past…but that most important element of compassion is still missing. Those in the Centre who believe that money can buy everything must remind themselves that Kashmiris have perfected the art of seeing through the silk-sheets of Shylockian politics,’’report quoted Tasaduq as having said.
“What great expectations should we have when our only answer to our people’s cries of anguish and anger, is the bullet?…How does one look away from our mothers who have lost their young sons? How does one look away from the pain? This anger and disillusionment is sure to spread its tentacles far and wide. I am disturbed by this reality and it constantly weighs on my mind. But to keep silent when every other day is a day of mourning, when young shoulders are carrying the burden of our collective inadequacies, when the repeated rape and murder of an eight-year-old child finds advocacy in the name of religion, would be a sin. This is not my voice alone but the overriding sentiment of our party,” report quoted Tasaduq as having said.
Saying that daily loss of lives in Kashmir has brought alienation and provoking youngsyers to take up “violence”, Tasaduq as per report said: Escalation in violence and the day to day loss of lives has brought Kashmir to the brink of a disaster. If there is an irritant that is provoking youngsters to take up to violence, that irritant must go immediately. We can’t burn all bridges and expect that masses can be made to yield by sheer might of the state. It doesn’t work that way. The alienation has reached to a level now where it can lead to bloodshed of a scale that doesn’t find a precedent in history”.
Tasaduq has also expressed his concern over qualified youth taking up arms and urged for resolution of Kashmir issue. “The outpouring from student class is a huge alert sign. Highly qualified youngsters leaving homes to take up arms is something that can’t be blamed on radicalisation alone…We can’t get into war of narratives. At the cost of sounding politically incorrect, I am reaffirming that Kashmir issue needs to be resolved immediately if we wish to see lasting peace in the subcontinent”, Tasaduq was quoted as having stated.


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Zakir Musa killing: Shutdown, restrictions on Day 2 as well

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, May 25: A complete shutdown was Saturday observed in Kashmir on the second as well against the killing of Zakir Musa, the militant ‘commander’ and chief of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind (AGH), who was shot dead during an encounter in Dadsara, Tral early Friday morning.
Authorities also continued placing curbs in parts of the valley to foil any protests or clashes. Following the orders from the divisional administration, all educational institutes across Kashmir remained closed for the second consecutive day as well.
High-speed mobile internet continued to remain suspended in most districts of Kashmir although 2G- speed internet service was restored in Budgam, Ganderbal and Srinagar on Saturday afternoon.
A police official said the curbs on the movement of people were in force in parts of Srinagar, Kulgam and Pulwama.
Train service on the Baramulla-Banihal line also remained suspended, the official said.
“Curfew continued to remain imposed in parts of the Kashmir valley today (Saturday) as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order,” the official said.
In Srinagar, he added, strict restrictions were in place in Nowhatta, Rainawari, Khanyar, Safakadal and M R Gung areas, while partial restrictions were in force in Maisuma and Kralkhud areas.
The official said that government forces including police and paramilitary was deployed in strength in other parts of the valley to avoid any untoward incident.
Meanwhile, most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments remained shut in the valley following the strike call by Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani against the killing of Zakir and a civilian Zahoor Ahmad, a resident of Naira Pulwama – who was killed allegedly by government forces on Thursday.
Public transport was also off the roads.
Zakir, one of the most-wanted militant ‘commanders’ in Kashmir, was killed in the encounter at Dadsara Tral after forces launched a search operation late Thursday evening following specific information about the presence of militants there.
His killing led to spontaneous shutdown and protests in the valley.

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Zakir’s death marks end of ‘radical jihad’: DGP

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Srinagar, May 25: Police Saturday said the killing of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind (AGH) Chief Zakir Musa has ended the “cult and concept of radical jihad” and Zakir was the last militant of “ISIS-influenced ideology”.
“Zakir Musa had created a new concept of radical jihad and militancy in Kashmir. He was the last militant of such radicalised ideology. With his killing, security forces have eliminated the last such militant who was influenced by ISIS kind of militancy in Kashmir,” Director General of Police, Dilbagh Singh was quoted saying by a local news agency.
The DGP said that youth should understand that “radical ideology or other kind of militancy leads to death and destruction.”
“Some youth were influenced by the radical ideology of Zakir Musa and we would see youth waving ISIS flags in Downtown around Jamia Masjid on Fridays. His killing is the death of radical concept of Jihad in Kashmir. Any radical idea of militancy is against the interests of youth and other people of the state,” the DGP said.
The DGP said that he appreciates and is grateful to the people of Kashmir for “maintaining peace and calm in the last three days.”
Zakir was killed in Dadsara village of Tral in Pulwama district by government forces in a gunfight during the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.
His killing triggered protests at several places with authorities imposing restrictions and Hurriyat calling for shutdown in Kashmir.

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‘Minorities have been cheated, have to stop it: Modi

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New Delhi, May 25: A bow before the Constitution of India was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first action after being unanimously elected the National Democratic Alliance’s leader as he set the agenda for the next term of his government in the Central Hall of Parliament on Saturday.
In his address, Modi reached out to minorities, who he said have been “cheated” by the opposition and called for the lawmakers to earn their trust and put an end to the deception immediately.
“We have worked for sabka saath, sabka vikas, now we have to strive for sabka vishwas,” the PM said while addressing NDA MPs in parliament’s Central Hall Saturday evening.
“The way the poor have been cheated, the minorities have been deceived the same way. It would have been good if their education, their health had been in focus. I expect from you in 2019 that you would be able to make a hole in that deception. We have to earn their trust,” PM Modi said.
The PM, who is likely to be sworn in next week, said this time in the general elections, people voted for pro-incumbency.
“There was pro-incumbency wave in this election, its result was a positive mandate,” the PM told NDA leaders, and added, “The 2019 elections have helped bring down walls, connect hearts.”
The BJP scored 303 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha in the national election and along with its allies, won a remarkable tally of 353.
The formality of allies naming PM Modi as the undisputed leader of the NDA was carried out in the Central Hall of parliament amid loud applause, desk-thumping and chants of “Modi, Modi”.
Top alliance leaders, including Janata Dal United chief Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray and Akali Dal’s Parkash Singh Badal were in the meeting.
On the dais, senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi flanked PM Modi.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal moved a resolution to elect PM Modi as the leader of the NDA Parliamentary Party which was supported by JDU chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan and other leaders of the NDA.
“The people have accepted Narendra Modi experiment again from their heart. I want to say this about Modiji, whom I have worked with – for 20 years, he has not taken even a day off. He has worked 18 hours a day.”
On Friday, the council of ministers led by PM Modi submitted their resignation which was accepted by President Kovind, paving way for formation of new government.
Accepting PM Modi’s resignation, the president had had asked them to continue as a caretaker until the formation of a new government.

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