Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and senior Jammu and Kashmir leader Nayeem Akhtar has recently claimed that the credibility of PDP-BJP coalition government has seriously suffered after people holding important position calls Kashmir a ‘war-like’ zone. As per a report by Indian Express, Akhtar termed the coalition ‘a last possible credible democratic experiment’ and said that its failure may consume the PDP, but it will be big setback for the entire nation. Akhtar, in an interview with Indian Express said, “talks with Hurriyat and New Delhi’s measures to improve Indo-Pak relations are essential component of the agenda of alliance between the two parties and if it isn’t implemented, many generations will mourn the chance missed.”
Without take name, Akhtar retaliated to Defence Minister Arun Jaitley who had last month said that when you are in a war-like zone, you should allow Army officers to take a decision, and said, “There is no war-like situation in Kashmir. When someone holding an important position in the government says it is a war zone, what message are we sending? After two years in the government, we are saying it is a war zone, what is our legitimacy.”
“Credibility of our government has suffered seriously because of such statements but it isn’t our loss only, it is not the loss of our party only, it isn’t the loss of J&K state only, it is the loss of the country as well,” he added.
Pointing at the BJP-PDP alliance and the stiff situation in the state, Akhtar said, “If it fails, nothing else is likely to succeed in the present scenario. And if it collapses, it would not be a problem only for PDP or Kashmir, its failure is going to be a huge setback for the country in finding a solution to its most intractable challenge. We may well get consumed in this but that might be a marginal cost only. We tried to create a middle space — the space is gone but the argument hasn’t gone.’’
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Referring to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Jaitley last month said that military situations are to be provided by military officers. “How a situation is to be dealt with when you are in a war-like zone… we should allow our army officers to take a decision,” PTI quoted Jaitley saying. His comment was largely to justify Major Leetul Gogoi’s move of tying a man to a jeep in Kashmir purportedly as a shield against stone pelters.