Dear Mehbooba Mufti,
Since April 30, this year, I was waiting for a response from resistance groups to your remark on the day Central Kashmir districts were to vote for Indian parliamentary election. In my view you thanking the police and administration for the smooth conduct of polls deserve a public debate and response. But Alas! No one has thus far responded. Either resistance leaders failed to understand your remark or didn’t read it or your friendship with many of them could have become instrumental in keeping them mum. Before coming to your remark in detail, I must confess that I have been your supporter.
But, I too like many Kashmir people now wonder why we must believe in the notion that National Conference is the root cause of all our miseries and that PDP peace rhetoric is better. As a writer I meet people from resistance camp often. The dissenters regard your father Mufti Mohammad Syed as an ideological Indian but there are many who still want to see you and your party in office rather than National Conference.
But some think that your rhetoric of peace, talks not bullets and battle of ideas is actually deceitful and intriguing. These people say that PDP has and is trying to Indianize the Kashmir society morally. These people say that Indian agencies actually created PDP for this purpose as the only regional party that India had on its side in Kashmir i.e. National Conference had lost its moral standing in Kashmiri society. I used to think differently and opposed this thinking in the past.
Days before the Indian parliamentary election, the police chief of Jammu Kashmir issued claimed that during elections no body from All Parties Hurriyat Conference or other resistance groups would be stopped from carrying out anti-election activities peacefully. You must be aware the two APHC factions and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front appealed people for a boycott and started a full-fledged campaign. Their campaigns picked up with passing time and participation of people was for all to see. Participation in these anti-poll rallies suggested that boycott campaign was getting momentum and people were siding with the dissent camp. Also the decision of letting these people to hold peaceful programs seemed to be democratic and even had backing of National Conference-led government.
But this ‘democratic mood’ changed immediately and spree of arrests and restrictions started in Jammu and Kashmir. Along with many others, I was surprised over the u-turn made by Umar Abdullah government. But, many are claiming that the decision to crush dissent came from New Delhi. Some even say Umar had no role in the decision and the request to crush dissent came from your father Mufti Mohammad Syeed.
They say Mufti Mohammad Syed scared by the growing support to boycott rushed to New Delhi and asked them to halt the movement of resistance leadership. Visibly PDP feared a defeat if freedom camp on whose votes it enjoys politics boycotted the elections. Many people in the establishment accept that Mufti went to New Delhi, met his old friends and coaxed them on arresting resistance leadership. I don’t know whether the claims are right.
But after the polls in Anantnag, which many say is PDP’s bastion, the arrest spree took humongous dimension. Police admitted that over 500 youth were locked up.
At the end of voting in Central Kashmir on April 30, your remark gave credence to the claims that your father had in reality met people in New Delhi and sought to cage the dissenters.
Your remark was being delivered to the media at a time when bullets were piercing the body of Bashir Ahmad Bhat at Nawa Kadal. You reportedly said: “a new chapter in the history of the state would be opened on May 16th when results of these elections are announced. It was satisfying that after the sponsored disturbances in South Kashmir to enforce a selective boycott, the conduct of elections were better managed in Central Kashmir districts. PDP would strive to carry forward its mission of taking the state out of its problems.”
It is safe to conclude that you are appreciating police and civil administration for their ‘better conduct’ of polls in Srinagar constituency. You are saying ‘that it was satisfying that after the sponsored disturbances in South Kashmir to enforce a selective boycott, the conduct of elections were better managed in Central Kashmir districts is actually pointing towards the fact that you are hand in glow with these better performers. You also thanked participation of people in large numbers in polls. If I am not wrong you had also appreciated the healthy participation of people in Anantnag constituency on 24th April 2014. I don’t know whether 27 out of 100 is a healthy or heavy participation or not but what has disappointed me is your appreciation and thanks to police and administration.
This appreciation has given weight to claims that PDP is behind the crackdown against resistance leadership and thousands of students and boys who are being tortured and humiliated in police stations and Special Operation Group and army interrogation centres. I fail to understand what are you thanking police and administration for?
You must be aware of the facts that in the process of ‘better arrangements’, police along with other forces took thousands of young students, labourers, daily wagers and youth in custody. Even relatives of many were detained, tortured and humiliated. For making ‘better arrangements’ your political opponents in the resistance camp were ruthlessly tortured and many of them still languish in jails. If you don’t believe me please visit Srinagar Old City and many more areas and see what has been done to satisfy you. It was your call for better arrangements that we saw a war like situation in Central Kashmir and we had to accept the dead body of a young man. I hope your soul will be delighted to have seen the bullet ridden body of ‘trouble maker’ Bashir Ahmad Bhat.
National Conference brought dreaded Ikhwan but in broad day light and without any hypocrisy. They ordered killing and jailing people but openly, but you seem to hiding daggers inside your sleeves. Putting thousands behind bars, killing innocent with bullets, torturing innocent boys, raids, harassments and other oppressive measures are ingredients for ‘better arrangements’ for you.
I want to remained with you can close the mouth of a person or nation by oppressive measures but you cannot change their hearts and souls. The case of National Conference is before us. A party that enjoyed overwhelming support of masses because of their oppressive behaviour has been reduced to dust.
Abdul Rehman Khan (Master)