Senior Congress leader Professor Saif-u-Din Soz Wednesday said Kashmir must unite for seeking dismissal of petitions challenging Article 35A before the Supreme Court, and advised New Delhi to take the course of talks with the angry people of Kashmir.
“Perhaps, the Joint Resistance Leadership could talk better, if the talks had opened,” Soz said, addressing reporters at his Humhama residence.“I congratulate the Kashmiris for showing unity in defending the special position of Jammu and Kashmir enshrined in constitution of India and in constitution of J&K.”
The veteran Congress leader said while emotions had their place, challenges to the special constitutional provision must be defeated by arguing in the Supreme Court. “I feel convinced that Kashmiris’ emotions and commitment will certainly matter to the system. But, then, you have to fight the case also through your argument before the Supreme Court of India, Soz said.
“Let the Kashmir’s civil society also engage a competent and an honest advocate for itself. Please complete that legal exercise, at the earliest.” Soz also advocated that mainstream parties should engage in demanding revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
“Mainstream parties have to be decisively alert and active on seeking immediate abrogation of AFSPA which has brought death and destruction to Kashmir and deepened the alienation of Kashmiris, especially, the youth.” The ageing Congress leader opined that the State should reach out and understand the restless minds of angry Kashmiri youth.
“It will be futile for the system to take the position that there was no need for any discussion and dialogue with the people who adopt the course of violence,” Soz said. “No amount of repression through barrel of the gun can yield peace on ground. Government of India had a better course available that would yield positive results, and that is, talking to the angry people of Kashmir. Perhaps, the Joint Resistance Leadership could talk better, if the talks had opened.” The Congress politician said the challenges by RSS to the special status of J&K had united Kashmir for safeguarding it, but refused to make a direct comment on the decision of his party to participate in the upcoming civic polls boycotted by NC, PDP and CPI(M).
“The state party chief has taken the decision. The party didn’t seek any feedback or suggestion from me on this matter (participating in civic polls),” he said. Professor Soz said that the governor could have succeeded in establishing positive communication with mainstream parties in J&K “but cause for the present mode in Kashmir was certainly a reaction to the designs of RSS.”