PDP blames actions since 1948 for Kashmiris' loss of faith in democracy

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New Delhi, Jul 21: PDP, the ruling party of Jammu and Kashmir rejected the contention that the unrest in the state is because of its alliance with BJP and blamed the actions by Congress and National Conference since 1948 for the loss of trust in democracy among the people of the valley.

In a strong and emotional speech in the Lok Sabha during discussion on Kashmir situation, senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig said the government of India should use its moral authority to resolve the problems of the state rather than using military authority.

Jammu and Kashmir

Slamming Pakistan for its interference in Kashmir, he said people of the valley are being "misguided" and expressed faith in the Modi government, saying "if you can't do it (resolve the problems), who can do it?"

He wondered whether Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani, whose killing in an encounter with security forces has triggered the unrest, could have been arrested instead of being gunned down.

In this context, the former Minister of Jammu and Kashmir cited examples of how some militants had earlier given up the gun and contested elections to join the mainstream. Rejecting allegations by critics like Congress that the current unrest is due to PDP joining hands with BJP to form government, Baig said, "nobody can accuse them (BJP) of being traitors".

Seeking to turn tables on opponents, he went back into history and clearly blamed Congress and National Conference, without naming them, for repeated controversial actions since 1948 when Prajapati Parishad was not allowed to contest polls.

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He said Kashmiris lost faith in democracy due to actions like installing "un-elected governments" and dismissing elected governments since 1948 besides rigging elections.

He said the rigging of 1987 polls, allegedly by National Conference-Congress combine, was the "deepest cut" to the faith of Kashmiris in democracy as these elections had been contested even by those who did not believe in the Indian Constitution but wanted to repose trust in the poll process.

In this regard, he gave the example of the chief of militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, whose original name is Mohd Yusuf Shah, contesting the elections which were "rigged". Baig said Yasin Malik, now the JKLF chief, was Shah's polling agent and was "tortured" by police after National Conference-Congress came to power following 1987 elections.

PTI

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