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Centre compromising on democratic fundamentals: Mufti

January 03, 2011 21:25 IST
Mehbooba Mufti, president of Peoples Democratic Party, the main opposition in Jammu and Kashmir, on Monday said that by ruling out reduction of troops and revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Union government was compromising the fundamentals of the country's standing as a democratic nation.

Reacting sharply to a statement made by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram ruling out reduction of forces in the state, Mufti said, "This stance was against the democratic ethos and constitutional mechanisms of India."

"By repeatedly emphasising the need for retention of draconian laws and continued deployment of security forces to administer civilian areas, the Government of India seemed to be conveying a message that the state is part of the country only through force," she said in a statement.

Mufti said that it was unfortunate that even after repeated participation of people from Jammu and Kashmir in all democratic exercises, the Union government continued to use the security idiom to deal with the aspirations of the people.

"This works against the efforts to find an amicable solution for which dialogue is prescribed and interlocution initiated," Mufti said.

She said the "overemphasis on military means" could be interpreted as an acknowledgment of the "inability to win hearts and minds of the people".

The PDP president said, "60 per cent participation in the democratic process and transition of people from violence to peaceful demonstrations have not served as an eye-opener as the response to bullets and ballot has been the same. This could once again push Kashmir to the wall."

"History is testimony to the fact that Kashmiris have always reciprocated to positive initiatives with goodness, but when pushed to wall they have also revolted with all their strength," she added.
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar