‘Mehbooba Mufti must answer why PDP has abandoned its long-held stance’
Srinagar: National Conference on Sunday said PDP’s declaration that Kashmir was not a political issue but a social issue was a shocking and shameful U-turn by the Party which, for years, sought support and votes primarily to help in the resolution of the political issue that has claimed thousands of lives and pushed the State into the throes of instability and suffering. Addressing a Press Conference at NC Headquarters ‘Nawa-e-Subha’ in Srinagar on Sunday, NC General Secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar, who was flanked by NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani and State Spokesperson Junaid Mattu, lashed out at Chief Minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti and her party for their total sell-out and said this recent outrageous statement is the last nail in the coffin for PDP.
The NC General Secretary said PDP Leader and Finance Minister Dr. Haseeb Drabu’s declaration that Kashmir was apparently not a ‘political issue’ but a ‘social issue’ while speaking at an event in Delhi was a serious development that called into question the very basis of PDP’s political over the years and the promises it had been making to the people of the State.
The NC General Secretary said Mehbooba Mufti needs to answer the following basic questions:
1. If J&K is not a political issue then what is the basis of the suffering and conflict in the State?
2. Why have thousands of people lost their lives if Kashmir is not a political issue? Did they lose their lives to a social issue?
3. India and Pakistan have fought four wars over Kashmir. In PDP’s opinion what is the cause of these wars and of confrontation between two countries if Kashmir is not a political issue?
4. Is this a formal abandonment of the party’s “Self Rule” document?
5. Why did the party stress on dialogue and resolution in its now abandoned ‘Agenda of the Alliance’ if the party believes Kashmir is not a political issue but a social issue?
6. PDP has time and again used the rhetoric of aspiring to become the bridge between New Delhi and Islamabad. If there is no political issue – what gap does PDP want to bridge?
7. Why did the Central Government appoint an interlocutor if PDP believes Kashmir is not a political issue?
“If PDP thinks that Kashmir is not a ‘political issue’ but is according to them a ‘social issue’, the very basis of the politics of PDP and that of its founder Late Mufti Sahab comes into question. Till today we were led to believe that PDP’s basis was the resolution of the political issue and its rhetorical advocacy for dialogue was a cornerstone of its narrative. Today, the same party suddenly declares that Kashmir is not a political issue and the problems we are facing are not any different from those being faced by people outside Kashmir. We condemn this statement in the strongest of terms as it reeks of fallacy, delusion and indicates an enormous ideological U-turn for the party”, the NC General Secretary said while addressing the Press Conference.
The NC General Secretary asked Chief Minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti to clarify if this was the final and formal abandonment of the party’s ‘Self Rule’ document which till now was being portrayed as the party’s supreme vision document. “First the PDP violated the mandate of 2014 by entering into an opportunistic alliance with a party it had sought votes against and today the same party finally lets the cat out of the bag by declaring everything it stood for till now was apparently akin to ‘barking up the wrong tree’ as said by Dr. Haseeb Drabu. We want to ask the Chief Minister and the PDP President if Kashmir is not a political issue then why have thousands of people lost their lives and why does the State continue to be mired by instability, violence and lack of peace and normalcy? Why did you promise the people that your party would work towards helping in resolving the political issue when you don’t even consider the issue to be political to start with?”, the NC General Secretary asked.
Speaking on the occasion, NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani hit out at the PDP for fooling the people of the State for almost two decades by seeking their personal political empowerment by exploiting the political sentiment that they are now openly ridiculing. “We remember the slogans of dual-currency and self-rule propagated and advocated by the same party that is now denying the existence of the political sentiment in the State. This is a classic example of PDP’s treacherous and deceitful politics – the brunt of which is being borne by the people of the State today as the situation in Kashmir continues to deteriorate. The Chief Minister is answerable to the people over this huge U-turn and must be held to account for this revelation”, the NC Provincial President said.
The NC Provincial President said PDP’s identity crisis had reached a level where the party seemed to be on the brink of an ideological implosion and these statements indicate the seriousness of this crisis. “These statements reveal only what National Conference has been saying all along about PDP and its politics – this is a party without an ideology and is solely guided by its own political empowerment and for that it is willing to barter the rights, sentiments, future and honour of the State and its people”, the NC Provincial President further added.
“Contrary to this, National Conference has always and will always struggle for a dignified and acceptable resolution of the Kashmir Issue – which is inherently and primarily a political issue. Our party has said this in the Assembly, in the Parliament and our Leader Mr. Omar Abdullah has said this in front of visiting Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh when he was here to inaugurate the Qazigund – Baramulla Railway Line. Kashmir was, is and will remain a political issue till the time it is resolved by taking into account the sentiments of the people. As Mr. Omar Abdullah said during his speech while welcoming Dr. Manmohan Singh in Qazigund – no amount of economic packages or development can take away from the fact that Kashmir issue is of a political nature and requires a political solution”, the NC Provincial President added.