Omar govt most repressive, has crossed all limits: Mehbooba

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 18 2010, 06:36am hrs
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti today said mainstream politicians had lost credibility in the eyes of the public in Kashmir. She also said transfer of power to a new alliance or removal of chief minister Omar Abdullah could not be the answer to the present unrest.

Speaking at the Idea Exchange programme of The Indian Express, Mehbooba said it was wrong to say that the crisis situation in Kashmir had developed in the last three months.

To a question on the handling of the situation by Omar Abdullah, she said he had mishandled every incident since he came to power.

When Omar came, there was some hope, especially among the youth that may be he is not like the traditional National Conference leaders. And Omar was also very fortunate that when he took over the situation was much better and he had full support of the Central leadership, cutting across party lines. But unfortunately, may be because he had not spent too much time in the Valley, having been born, bred outside and having started his career being a minister in the NDA government, I think somewhere he couldnt connect with the people.

She also accused Omar of having frittered away all gains made by the previous PDP-Congress government as well as the Army.

She said the all-party delegation, which is going to J&K next week, should try to meet all sections, including the separatists. They should try to meet the youth, the separatists... anybody who is ready to meet them, she said, adding the delegation should even meet the Hurriyat. Most importantly, they should meet the common man because he is suffering the most, she said.

We have been waiting for some time now, I dont think in the history of Kashmir or in the history of our country a democratically-elected chief minister has used so much repression to suppress his own people, crossed all limits. But still nothing is really happening.

To a question about some of the things that the state government could have done to handle the situation better, she said the siege needed to be lifted. Today, if Hurriyat gives a call for strike, it is implemented by the government through curfew and very inhuman restrictions. I dont think such a thing can happen in any other part of the country. It is as if a child, whose toy is broken, goes on to break everything in the house... this is what is happening in Kashmir today.

She said human rights violations and demonstrations had happened even when her father was heading the PDP-Congress government but they had been handled better.

PC to lead all-party team to J&K

Home minister P Chidambaram and parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal will be part of the all-party delegation that will visit Jammu & Kashmir to assess the ground situation and gather views for inputs to the Centre on resolving the unrest in the Valley. The delegation is expected to commence its two-day visit from Monday.

While there will be an open invitation to all stakeholders to meet the delegation, official sources said that written invitations would be sent to over 30 leaders, including separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.

Sources said finance minister Pranab Mukherjee could also join the delegation, but it has not been finalised yet. All political parties have been asked to nominate one representative to the delegation.

Earlier in the day, Congress president Sonia Gandhi held deliberations with senior party leaders on the modalities of the visit. Those present included Mukherjee, Chidambaram, A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Prithviraj Chavan and PCC chief Saifuddin Soz. This came a day after the Congress Core Group held deliberations on the broad contours of the visit.