The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party held "unbridled use of force" responsible for the present unrest in Jammu and Kashmir which has claimed so many lives saying the crisis had worsened with the guilty troops going unpunished.
"The heavy toll of life has resulted from unbridled use of force by the government," Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said in a statement in Srinagar. The death of yet another young man in Anantnag, Mohammad Abass Dhobi, indicates how callously the situation is beingtreated, he said. Condoling the death of the youth, he said the government had failed to curb its forces and the unkept promise of action against the guilty troopers had only resulted in more tragedies.
Saeed said the killing earlier of three innocent boys from the town (Anantnag) was a proved instance of cold blooded murder and the government could have made it a test case for transparent accountability process which could have prevented more such atrocities. Referring to the "non serious" attitude of New Delhi to the crisis in Kashmir, the former chief minister reiterated his view that the problem would not disappear without actually resolving it. "Trying to push it under the carpet in the hope of getting rid of it had cost the whole region its peace and Kashmir has had to pay the heaviest price", he said.
Alleging that the cries of pain from the state had failed to evoke a response from the national leadership, he accused it of still being in the mode of denial and strong arm methods which had only further aggravated the problem. On the recent statements of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the current crisis, Mufti said it was sad listening to the PM virtually negating from the Red Fort what he himself had set out to do in his televised address only a few days before that. "How can conditions be set for any kind of a dialogue as the Prime Minister seemed to be doing if a solution is to be sought between diametrically opposite positions through mutual discussions," he wondered. He said the dialogue has to be unconditional and has to engage all opinions, more importantly with those who questionthe status quo. Mufti said
By talking of a solution away from the beaten track, Vajpayee had set off a new and refreshing thought process on Kashmir which had started showing results too, he said and cautioned against any further delay in reaching out to the people in the state in a meaningful manner.
The PDP patron said the non-serious approach to issues like the scrapping of AFSPA had created a sense of cynicism among people about any thing that the government stated in the context of Kashmir. Although the issue had been raised constantly since 2007, it was responded to through tentative statements only when things seemed to go out of control here whereas what was needed was starting a process, Mufti said.
Asking New Delhi to display the confidence, maturity and understanding of a large and strong democracy, he regretted that in case of Kashmir only the insecurities fanned by the hawks were scripting its policies. Lately the only response of the Union government to the immense tragedy of Kashmir has been the stock one liner: there won't be any change of guard in the state government, Mufti said. This attitude conveys only one message to the people that the union government is only interested in who should run the government here and not how it actually functions, he said.
Democracy, he said, does not mean the numbers in the assembly alone but the commitment of a government and participation of the people in the process of governance. He said the daily directives from the Centre to the state government to do this and not do that does not only underline the irrelevance of the present dispensation in J & K but also highlights its disconnect with the people's sentiment. Mufti said with 60 young people dead, countless injured and hundreds rendered disabled, jails filled up with politicians and teenagers, endless curfews, demonstrations, and total dislocation of life for nearly three months one wonders what more does the union government wait for to start a process of political resolution.