‘Made Modi go to Pakistan but then Pathankot attack”: Mahbooba Mufti

The second and third generation politicians in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has come off ages in maintaining the narrative, and taking it a notch higher than their predecessors and mentors in safeguarding this discourse for the progeny. The term ‘ cup of poison’ has become quotidian to an extent that every politician in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has started assuming him/her self as a revolutionary with novel ideas. Worth recalling here is the couplet of the tallest leader of masses in Jammu and Kashmir Jenab Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah who said ´Woh Waqt Bhi Dekhe Hai Tareekh Ki Gadiyoon Ne, Lamhoon Ne Khata Ki Thi, Sadiyoon Ne Saza Payee, in front of a mammoth gathering on coronation of Jenab Farooq Abdullah. Indeed it is the same proverbial ‘Cup of Poison’ which the ex Chief Minister of state claims to have gulped in alliance with BJP in her address to the party workers on 19th Rising Day ceremony of J&K Peoples Democratic Party. The politics of Kashmir has witnessed the exploitation of emotional elements of society ever since Jammu and Kashmir became a part of India, the emotional appeal and connect which Sheikh Abdullah carried in his extempore speeches has become a part and parcel of all politicians addressing the masses of Kashmir. It is in the light of same legacy that Mahbooba Mufti tailored her speech with an admixture of obedience and sacrifice as the values of her political career.

Mahbooba Mufti while maintaining her tenor and style impressed upon the sole purpose of alliance with right wing political party was to mitigate the chaos and suffering of the society prevalent in Kashmir due to unrest and armed conflict and precisely this noble thought overlapped the inherent clash of ideologies between the two alliance partners. Ms Mufti however must understand that the ultra right wing party compromised its basic tenants and principles reaching an extra mile to PDP and the masses in Kashmir cajoling and pleading to be part of national mainstream. Umpteen times the situation was so embarrassing for the national party in the rest of India and especially in Jammu region which forms the bed rock of its identity and existence in state. Can Ms Mufti overlook the gestures of the nation represented through Prime Minister Modi who left no stone upturned to reach out with the proverbial ‘Balm in Hands’ along with his Home Minister Rajnath Singh who is on record saying that he can visit Kashmir every month if that helps. The statement received flank in the rest of country and national media branding the HM as puppet.

Ms Mufti, while delivering her speech made a remark, “We made Modi go to Pakistan but then Pathankot attack happened and Modi ji told me how Pakistan had insulted our Home Minister when he went for a conference.” Considering this statement came from the ex Chief Minister of state, do we need more proof that India is genuinely interested in resolving the conflict in Kashmir. This statement has put the Government of India in dock purely because a mighty nation like India has posted its external affairs and strategic relations at the ‘beck and call’ of a state government, compromising its own policy decisions. Wonder, if Ms Mufti should have placed the blame of failures on the central government and said, “Unfortunately, what happened during the Vajpayee era for Kashmir couldn’t happen under Modi,” knowing well the numerous compromises unilateral cease fire, release of Hurriyat leaders, Stone Pelters, et all , the current day National Government has done ever since it came into power and formed the alliance with PDP.

It is appalling to see the amount of emphasis Ms Mufti gave to talks with Pakistan virtually placing Kashmiri’s as hostage to the whims and fancies of Pakistan. Are Kashmiri’s independent entities to determine and shape their own destiny or stooges of Pakistan driving the interests of our neighboring country which considers Kashmir as ‘Jugulars Vein’ and has been the prime offender of peace and tranquility in Kashmir? Let the main stream political parties in J&K understand that Pakistan will never desire peace and stability in J&K purely because chaotic Kashmir is the source through which Pakistan draws its energies for survival as a state both internally and externally. Precisely this is the reason why every time sincere and honest diplomatic tries initiated by India are thwarted and given a body blow by the deep state which drives Pakistan.

In her address Ms Mufti though was the chief minister of entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, yet sounded Kashmir specific and talked about the aspirations of Kashmiri alone, set very disturbing signals to her party cadres in Jammu and Ladakh regions. Instead of bridging divided, Ms Mufti deepened the gorge further between the regions and its people. While speaking on Rassana rape and murder case, she pointedly remarked that she made sure the case is not transferred to CBI, which has raised many eye brows about the intentions of state in pursuing the case. We know the investigation mechanism of Central Bureau of Investigation is a purely based on scientific and analytical lines and its is the premier investigation body of this country. In the light of this understanding, one wonders how just it is on part of the ex chief minister to keep CBI deliberately out of bounds from investigation a gruesome and barbaric rape and murder of an 8 year old child of this state.

Though it is paramount for any ruling dispensation to take care of its underprivileged and downtrodden sections of the society, but the manner in which Ms Mufti claimed, “I even passed an executive order for the protection of out Gujjar community till a bill is introduced in the legislature,” leads to an understanding that her government was in hurry for welfare and betterment of this marginalized section, instead of seeking a long term measure, a half baked and extra constitutional mechanism was adopted with a open potential of creating further divide in society.

The other important speaker on this event was the seasoned and a veteran politician Muzaffar Hussain Baigh who apart from holding important portfolios in state and Member Parliament is one of the founders of J&K Peoples Democratic Party drawing his allegiances with this party from ab initio. Interestingly it felt that the role of Ms Mufti and Mr Baigh were demarcated to address the very specific issues having a reaching impact on the political fortunes of PDP in near future. At one end the ex chief minister confined her speech to Kashmir affairs while at the other end Mr Baigh deliberated on issues impacting the muslims of the whole country. Mr Baigh threatened of an imminent ‘second partition’ of the country if the lynching incidents of muslims in the name of ‘cow’ do not stop. This statement of Mr Baigh needs to be understood in the light of a similar statement by vice chairman of J&K Muslim Personal Law Board and deputy grand Mufti of Kashmir, Nasir Ul Islam who recently said Muslims in India are being “Harassed under various pretexts” and stirred a controversy saying Muslims in India need to demand a new country for themselves.

Mr Baigh being a politician of repute and experience could have avoided such sweeping remark over few incidents though gory and uncalled for. Among other issues, Mr Baigh touched the corruption and indiscipline in organization terming it grave and having the potential of impacting the political fortunes of PDP at grassroots. The seasoned orator and firebrand leader didn’t mince words in advising Ms Mufti from pruning the weeds of the party who have been disrespectful and corrupt.

Something which bridged the gaps in the excelled oratory of both the leaders lies in one pointed reference to the founding principles of J&K Peoples Democratic Party and the role of the patriarch Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Mr Sayeed was undoubtedly the most loved personality in all the three regions of this state purely because of his beating heart and set equilibrium for all the three regions. His life and vision must continue to be the guiding force of PDP in future and times ahead if PDP desires to stay as a main political outfit and a force which genuinely makes impact to the well being, peace and tranquility of entire state, taking it out of chaos and bloodshed.

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