Will revoke ban if voted to power: Mehbooba
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday said it was ready to offer legal assistance to Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) that Government of India (GoI) recently banned.
Addressing PDP workers at Cariapa Park, Baramulla, senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig said his party was ready to offer legal assistance to the recently-banned socio-politico-religious party Jamaat and Muhammad Yaseen Malik-led JKLF provided they trust them.
He said PDP had political differences with both the parties but there were no differences on the basis of religion or humanity and when it comes to justice, they were ready to plead their case in the High Court and even in the Supreme Court.
“We know both the parties don’t have a good lawyer who can debate the ban in the Supreme Court. Let them come forward, ask us and we will offer legal assistance to them to fight the ban,” Baig said.
Earlier, former chief minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti termed the GoI’s decision of banning Jamaat and JKLF as ironical.
She said such repressive tactics would shrink the already limited space and would only increase the level of alienation and frustration among the people.
“Kashmir is a political problem. You can’t resolve the issues by imposing bans and seizing the properties. A political issue needs a political resolution only,” Mehbooba said.
She said the GoI’s “muscular policies” would only prove counterproductive in tackling the present crisis in Jammu Kashmir and promised that if her party comes to power, it would scarp the ban on Jamaat and JKLF.
Welcoming the decision of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to open Sharda Peeth for Hindu devotees, Mehbooba said the step would benefit Kashmiri Pandits as it was the long-pending demand of the community and added that such opportunities needed to be grabbed at an earliest so that the dream of a peaceful South Asia is realised without any further delay.
She said that by opening of Sharda Peeth in Kashmir across the Line of Control, Hindu devotees and yatris could go without hassle as it was a major centre of learning at par with the ancient seats of learning like Nalanda and Taxila.
“The reality must dawn upon those at the helm that trigger-happy approach will not solve the Jammu Kashmir problem. Confidence building measures, dialogue and reconciliation are only ways that could protect the State from an apocalypse,” Mehbooba said.
Blaming National Conference (NC) for the NIA’s crackdown in Jammu Kashmir, she said, “It was the NC-Congress regime led by Omar Abdullah in 2009 that brought NIA to JK. Like POTA, NC during its tenure has brought NIA to the State and we were against the move at that time as well.”
The PDP chief also cautioned that any fiddling with the special status of Jammu Kashmir was fraught with dangerous consequences and had the tendency to turn the State into a war theatre.
“PDP government in spite of being in coalition with the BJP didn’t allow the rightwing party to fulfill its nefarious agenda in Kashmir and the government employed country’s best lawyers for the protection of Article 35-A in the Supreme Court. We strongly believe that the constitution of the country has enough space to accommodate aspirations of Jammu Kashmir but unfortunately the atmosphere is fouled by the attempts being made to fiddle with its special status and louse of mistrust has risen out of that,” she said. “Any such attempt made through the legal or administrative route will be unacceptable to the people of the State.”
Mehbooba said PDP was formed for peace in Kashmir.
“We are in favour of talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat, and talks are necessary for Kashmir resolution,” she said.
Mehbooba said PDP has a clear stand that ideas cannot be chained, banned or killed.
“In democracy, ideas are allowed to flourish and not choked. By taking such undemocratic, unconstitutional and unnatural measures, the government in actual is trying to show its electorate how tough it is against the Muslims and against Jammu Kashmir,” she said assuring that if PDP comes to power, it would make strenuous efforts to undo BJP’s wrongs.
Mehbooba said it had been the prime agenda of PDP that the muscular approach would not take the State anywhere as this had been tried for many decades and had not yielded any positive outcome.
She said it was unfortunate that some people still believed in the efficacy of these methods and were trying to repeat the old mistakes which would be meaningless and would prove counter-productive.
PDP’s candidate for Baramulla parliamentary seat Abdul Qayoom Wani, Mehboob Beg, Muhammad Dilawar Mir, Javed Baig, Safina Baig, Yawar Mir and Shabir Mir were also present on the occasion.