Pardeep Singh Bali
Jammu Tawi, July 20: In an apparent embarrassment to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, National Conference (NC) today refused to attend the proposed All Party Meet, which has been called to discuss prevailing situation in the Kashmir.
The National Conference, under the leadership of former chief minister-Omar Abdullah, is following the same line which was employed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2010 unrest in Kashmir. “The denial of National Conference to attend proposed All Party Meet is a Tit-For-Tat for Mehbooba, whose party had not cooperated with Omar led government during 2010 unrest,” said political experts, adding “Although, the National Conference had detailed why the unionist party will not attend All Party Meet called by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on July 21, but the actual reason is that NC also wants to realize PDP chief that certain issues are beyond political interests.”
The NC in its detailed response of not attending the meet asserted “It is extremely unfortunate that although the chief minister saw it fit to call a meeting of civil society in Srinagar within days of protests breaking out, it has taken almost two weeks to call a meeting of all political parties,” adding “In the meantime the number of dead and injured has continued to rise. It would have been better if the Chief Minister had responded to our party leadership’s offer of support earlier instead of waiting for the suffering and misery of the people to reach this level.”
According to political expert, who wished not to be named shared that in 2010, when the NC led state government was grappling with violent street protests, PDP for political benefits played ‘rude’ and did not cooperate with the government in maintaining calm in the state.
“At that time, the then chief minister-Omar Abdullah had asked all the politicians across party lines to come and support the government to minimize the damage caused to the property and human lives, but the PDP for personal political benefits did not heed to the request,” said expert, adding “The National Conference at present is following same thing to make PDP realize that there are things above politics. However, whatever NC is doing at present is just a political revenge.”
National Conference in a letter addressed to Parliamentary Affairs Minister detailed why the party will not attend All Party Meet. The content of the letter says, Successive statements from various high level functionaries of the ruling coalition especially the PDP have not only added to the confusion but have significantly weakened the institution and office of the Chief Minister. Confusion about how much the Chief Minister knew regarding the Burhan encounter is one such example.
Members of Parliament crediting the Prime Minister with reducing excessive use of force further weakened the image of the Chief Minister who is seen as a mute spectator, immune to the bloodshed and suffering. To make matters worse the same MP has repeatedly asserted the Burhan Wani was unlawfully killed by sections of J&K Police to discredit the state’s Chief Minister. This leads one to conclude that Mehbooba Mufti does not even command the loyalty of her police force, much less the loyalty of the people.
Finally the total mis-handling of the Press by first enforcing a ban and raiding offices of news papers, seizing plates and newspapers which was justified by the Senior Minister and Spokesperson of the Government in turn contradicted more than 72 hours later by the Advisor to the Chief Minister leads us to conclude that there is no effective leadership in the State government at present.
Until such time a credible, effective and humane leadership is re-established in the state this All Party Meeting will prove to be a meaningless exercise. “I regret that Jammu and Kashmir National Conference is unable to participate under the circumstances. In the meanwhile J&K National Conference has already submitted a detailed Memorandum to the Governor wherein steps to ease the tension have been mentioned,” letter reads.