Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday that choking democratic space and punishing people collectively is unfortunately a new policy adopted by the Government of India to deal with Kashmir. Addressing the youth convention here Mehbooba said that purpose behind the repressive measures being taken by the BJP led government in Jammu and Kashmir is to show the electorate how tough is the saffron party against Kashmiris.
Referring to the ban imposed on JKLF and Jamat-e- Islami, Mehbooba said it is ironical that on the one hand government of India is claiming to have launched a rehabilitation scheme by which the militants who lay down arms will be encouraged to join the mainstream and on the other hand, organisations like JeI and JKLF are banned which have avowedly rejected violence as a method of achieving any goals and have distanced themselves from it. “JKLF is committed to resolution through political means while as the Jamaat-e- Islami is a religious and social organisation running schools and orphanages across the state. Such repressive measures will shrink the already limited space and will only increase the level of alienation and frustration among the people,” Mehbooba said.
The PDP chief termed present elections crucial in determining the future course of history. “We are at a stage where there the people of the state are facing more challenges than ever. As a largest political party of the state, we have always strived for the resolution of the problems through peace and empowerment of people. Whether we were in opposition or in government, we have established the idea of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed of having a party with peace, dialogue and end of repressive measures as a prime agenda. But the challenges at present are in different forms. People are knowledgable enough to know what are the threats and the stakes involved,” she said in her address. PDP senior leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar, Safina Beigh, Aijaz Mir, Youth President Waheed Para, Nazir Yatoo and others spoke on the occasion.