Jammu, Feb 2: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here on Friday bounced back to counter the argument of the leader of the opposition and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah on his remark “Save yourself from the BJP’s hellfire” and said “I would go to hellfire thousand times if Kashmir is changed into heaven and future generations live in peace”.
According to reports covering the assembly proceedings, elaborating her counter remark, the chief minister said centre and state government are on the same page as for as the decisions on law enforcement and crowd control policing are concerned. “The decision on amnesty to stone pelters as taken by the state government in 2017 and statements on the amnesty of stone pelters were issued in Delhi by centre leaders later”. She said special representative Dineshwar Sharma talking about amnesty to stone pelters means that centre and state governments are taking decisions in agreement with each other”. She said that the government is reviewing the cases of all stone pelters who have been arrested in 2008, 2010 and 2016 and the decision to release them or otherwise would be taken by the review committees constituted for this purpose.
In reply to an allegation of Omar Abdullah on alliance with BJP, she said BJP is the single largest party with ever biggest mandate in the country. The party was given mandate by the people in Jammu. The people in this house representing BJP are the elected representatives of people and insulting the legislators in any way is not the political morality taught to us by the principles of democratic modernity.
Touching upon the issue of the current crisis in Kashmir, Mehbooba said “all are concerned about the current crisis in Kashmir but a decision taken under the leadership of late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on the states accession with the union of India is final and irrevocable. “We have to work for strengthening the decision taken by the popular leader like Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. The separatist leaders have taken a different position and I don’t say that they have no role. Separatists have a role but we have to explain the fruitfulness of the accession with India to the people in state”
According to reports, saying that self rule does not seek resolution of Kashmir issue outside the Indian constitution but within the Indian constitution. “I tell you with authority that the Indian constitution is flexible enough to accommodate and adjust the wishes and aspirations of the people of all the three regions of the state. As for as the relations with Pakistan vis-à-vis Kashmir are concerned history is witness to the fact that even after waging three wars and the Kargil conflict India and Pakistan were forced to come to the negotiating table. The Shimla agreement, the Lahore declaration and the Agra summit are testimony to the fact that wars take India Pakistan nowhere but dialogue brings them closer to peace and normalcy”.
Claiming that the only solution for Kashmir resolution with Pakistan is the opening of cross LoC travel and trade routes between the divided parts of Jammu and Kashmir, the chief minister said it is for Pakistan and the central government in Delhi to decide whether they won’t to settle the issue within or outside the constitution but we in the Jammu and Kashmir government stress the central government to persuade Pakistan for opening up of trade and travel routes between all the divided parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Saying that even America is not able to change the important strategic position Pakistan has in South Asia, the chief minister said Jammu and Kashmir has a similar strategic position in South Asia and is gateway to central Asia. Referring to the Indus Water Treaty, The chief minister said “the Jammu and Kashmir is the state having rich resources and hydro power potential is the biggest resource Jammu and Kashmir has to take a lead in economic transformation of South Asia.
Hitting out at separatists, chief minister questioned the growing tendency of separatists to use mosques for political purposes, Mehbooba asked what they are going to achieve by calling for “Udhar Chalo Edhar Chalo”. She said they (Separatists) are pushing youth to violence that leads to their deaths. Sometime, somehow, somewhere they (Separatists) have to explain that how long they can continue to drive youth to violent paths and in the end dialogue is the only option”.
Responding to a calling attention notice moved by CPI (M) secretary M Y Tarigami, the chief minister said and asked “is the situation in Kashmir in the aftermath of Shopian killings conducive to withdrawal of AFSPA and no use of pellet guns. “We are exercising maximum restraint and pellet are guns are used as a last resort”. Army is an institution and a disciplined force. Though some army men were few years back found involved in land grabbing but that does not mean all the people working in army are land grabbers. No two FIR’s have been filed in Shopian Army firing case. The only FIR filed so far is the one registered by Police and army has given only its version but not filed a counter FIR. Investigation will be transparent and the guilty would be sternly punished”.
Claiming that police is the most credible and powerful law enforcing institution in the country, the chief minister said police is bravely facing the challenges on the security front in Jammu and Kashmir. Assuring that the investigation into the killing of Kathua minor girl, the chief minister said “the case has been handed over to the crime branch and fast track investigation will be ensured at all costs. Those found guilty will be sternly punished. I was equally pained by the shameful incident that that took away the life of an innocent minor girl and her chastity”.
Replying to allegations of discrimination in development works and appointment of SPOs, the chief minister said “the meetings of District Development Boards are being held as usual and public darbars are being held by me as were being held by my predecessors. I assure that all MLAs will be taken on board in developmental programmes and appeal them to join public darbars and district development board meetings. The recruitment in police have been most transparent. The recent selections are testimony to this fact. As far as appointments of SPOs are concerned it is for the first time that minimum qualification and age has been sent for the appointment of SPOs. The previous governments used to appoint even minors, old aged persons, illiterates and middle pass aspirants as SPOs.” Expressing concern over unprecedented rise in drug trafficking, the chief minister said “the drug trafficking has spread more vigorously in Jammu division and less in Kashmir Valley. “I have instructed the police to book the drug peddlers under PSA and ensure that they don’t come out from jails for years together”.
Reiterating her commitment on KPS cadre review, she said “the decision taken by the government is being forcefully implemented to ensure that KPS officers don’t feel discriminated.