Of all the elections held in the recent years, the one that was conducted in the month of December 2014 was the hardest to secure for the Indian army.
There were intelligence alerts being shared almost every minute as Pakistan had sought to target the December 2014 elections in a big way as it suspected that the BJP would rise in a big way in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Security personnel outnumbered the voters and intelligence bureau officials did not sleep a wink in order to ensure that nothing untoward took place.
[Also Read: Profile: Who is Mufti Mohammad Sayeed?]
While this being the case, it was really unfortunate on part of the new Chief Minister of the state, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to thank Pakistan for a peaceful elections.
What did Mufti have say?
In a press conference that the new Chief Minister Mufti Saeed addressed after being sworn in, he said, "the Hurriyat, Pakistan and militants allowed conducive atmosphere for Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir."
Saeed sounded almost thankful to Pakistan, the Hurriyat and the militants for allowing the elections to take place. He also said during the address that he had told the Prime Minister that we need to be friends with Pakistan.
He also stressed upon the need to take the Hurriyat and the separatists on board as they too have a point of view.
Should Mufti have thanked Pakistan and the militants?
While Mufti may be aiming at a permanent solution to the Kashmir problem, many feel that there was no need to credit Pakistan or the militants in particular for the peaceful conduct of the elections.
He makes some very clear points about his disliking for the army. Not only has been pushing against the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, he did not wish to thank the armed forces for the work they have done to ensure a peaceful election.
During his address after taking over he also said that the un-authorised land that the Army has - they have to either return it to government or pay compensation.
Many in the army told oneindia that it was an unwanted statement. If he has a problem with the armed forces, then so be it. But thanking Pakistan and the militants suggest that he is giving credit to them.
Pakistan and its militants have not done India a favour by letting the elections be peaceful. It was a coordinated effort on part of the armed forces and the intelligence bureau officials who ensured that not a single militant managed to penetrate into the Valley and disrupt the elections.
There were enough and more attempts made by Pakistan and its militancy to disrupt the polls and the threat perception was extremely high when the Prime Minister visited the Valley during the election campaign.
The new CM does not realize what it has taken to ensure that security was at its best. Letting the militants strike would have been our defeat, the officer also pointed out.
Has Mufti forgotten the floods?
It also appears that Mufti Mohammad Saeed has forgotten the horrific floods that affected the Valley not very long back. It was the army and only the army which took the initiative to ensure that normalcy returned to the Valley.
The presence of the army and the work that they did was so big that it began creating an insecurity among the separatists. Yasin Malik was seen on video destroying flood relief material minutes after he himself had been rescued by the army.
However the army went about its job and the entire nation applauded the work that it undertook at such a difficult time in the Valley.
Sharp criticism from Omar Abdullah
The most vocal against the statement made by Saeed was former CM, Omar Abdullah.
"Pakistan, Huriyaat and Militants ALLOWED peaceful conduct of elections" says Mufti Syed. I guess we should be grateful for their generosity," said on Twitter.
"Dear @BJP4India please explain roll of security forces and polling staff considering your CM just said " Pakistan allowed elections in J and K"," he also said.
While many would criticize Mufti, some others say that he does want a solution to the problem. He believes that the only way to solve the problem is taking everyone on board.
While he feels that it is necessary to take everyone on board including the separatists who also have a point of view, thanking militants is not done at all.
Dear Mufti Sahib, thank you, thank you a thousand times for this press conference.— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 1, 2015
"Pakistan, Huriyaat & Militants ALLOWED peaceful conduct of elections" says Mufti Syed. I guess we should be grateful for their generosity.— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 1, 2015
Dear @BJP4India please explain roll of security forces & polling staff considering your CM just said "Pakistan allowed elections in J&K".— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 1, 2015