Criticising the functioning of the PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress Party has said the meeting between Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday has “raised more questions than answers”.
Citing the present unrest in the Kashmir Valley, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI that there was hope that Mehbooba Mufti and Prime Minister Modi will take some fruitful steps.
“Curfew has been imposed in Kashmir for 50th day today. A police officer was killed in the morning. More than 70 people have been killed and more than 6,000 people are injured.
The law and order situation is a complete failure there,” he added. Asserting that the whole nation wants peace in Kashmir, Surjewala said the meeting raised more questions than answers. “Mehbooba Muftiji agreed that the PDP-BJP Government did not work according to the agenda of alliance. Why didn’t Modiji and Mehboobaji do it? If they would have worked on the agenda of the alliance, then the situation would not have been like this. But, she didn’t give an answer to this,” he added.
“Mehbooba Muftiji appealed to Pakistan to understand the situation of Kashmir. Pardon me, but Pakistan is responsible for giving birth to the present situation in Kashmir. The Modi government is saying that they won’t talk on the Kashmir issue, but Mehboobaji is appealing to Pakistan. What is the truth? The nation wants to know,” Surjewala asked. He further stated that the situation in Kashmir is getting worse day by day with the opposite statements of the PDP and the BJP.
“The Prime Minister should give a clarification on it. She (Mehbooba Mufti) said although she is the chief of the elected government, the PDP-BJP Government is unsuccessful in holding a dialogue, and if a dialogue takes place, it will be done from Delhi. Then please tell us what the role of the elected government is?” he asked. Quoting Mehbooba as saying that if the Prime Minister wants, there won’t be any bloodshed in Kashmir, the Congress spokesperson requested Prime Minister Modi to stop the bloodshed in the valley.
Escalating his criticism on the state government, Surjewala said the present situation in Kashmir won’t recover by blaming the previous UPA regime. “You can’t blame the UPA of 2008 for what has been taking place from 2014 to 2016. Stop blaming. The wounds need to be healed. Jammu and Kashmir should be brought back to normalcy. Leave politics and allegation and counter allegation.
The whole nation wants the PDP-BJP government to heal the wounds,” he added. Mehbooba yesterday asserted that if Pakistan is really concerned about the situation in the valley, it will help fix the crisis, rather fanning the flames. Addressing the media here after her meeting with Prime Minister Modi at his 7 RCR official residence, Mufti asserted that he was extremely concerned about the situation and that he had expressed his desire to stop the bloodshed in the valley and also ensured that the state will emerge from the crisis.
Lauding Prime Minister Modi’s approach towards Pakistan, Mufti stated that he had not only invited Nawaz Sharif for his oath taking ceremony in May 2014, but had also gone to Lahore to wish Prime Minister Sharif on his birthday last December, but thereafter, the Pathankot incident happened and ties between the two nations went downhill. Appealing to Pakistan, she added that if they have any sympathy for the people of Kashmir, then they will stop provoking the youth into attacking security forces by saying that it will solve the unrest in the valley.
Invoking former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mufti stated that during his regime, talks with Pakistan and the Hurriyat were a common affair, because of which, the situation in Kashmir was somewhat neutralised. Appearing to be visibly moved when talking about the rising death toll in the valley, which mostly comprises of youths and minors, Mufti said the very kids who had supported her during her electoral campaign days, were now being used against her. Defending the curfew which has now entered its 50th day, she said the purpose of imposing restrictions was to save the lives of locals and children.
She further asserted that the separatists must come forward and help the state government in figuring out a solution to the Kashmir unrest. Talking about the all party delegation which is to head to Kashmir to discuss the unrest, she said that developments on the meeting will begin in almost a week’s time. Meanwhile, the situation in the valley continued to be grim as a police constable was shot dead by terrorists in Pulwama district on Saturday.
Normal life in the Kashmir Valley remains paralysed as a curfew and a shutdown continued for the 50th consecutive day on Saturday following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani last month. All educational institutions, shops, public transport and other businesses are closed since July 9.
Earlier, the authorities arrested several top separatist leaders and extended curfew to large parts of the valley to foil a separatists’ march in Srinagar. The death toll in the valley reached 67 on Friday, as another youth succumbed to his injuries in clashes that broke out between security forces and the locals in Pulwama district.