Don’t Wreck Vajpayee Initiative, Mufti Tells BJP25 December 2010
Jammu: Expressing his dismay over the negative politics of BJP over Kashmir, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Saturday asked the party not to wreck the initiatives of former Indian premier Atal Bihari Vajapyee. In a statement issue here, Mufti said Kashmir problem cannot be wished away and the first major realisation of this fact was articulated by none other than the former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had initiated a process of resolution through dialogue and reconciliation. “It was unfortunate that the claimants to Vajpayee’s legacy were now trying to wreck any chances of its success,” he said. Recalling how Vajpayee had taken a bold initiative on Kashmir at a time when India and Pakistan were in dangerous combat position, the former chief minister said, “Vajpayee had reached out to people of the State at a time when a PDP and congress coalition was at the helm of the affairs. He had risen above petty partisan considerations and responded in a dignified manner to the urge for peace and resolution that he gauged during his visit to Srinagar”. Expressing his concern over party’s negative politics, Mufti said, “The peace process in Kashmir and with Pakistan could make some progress only when the UPA then in opposition had extended a wholehearted support to it. It was continued for some time with significant gains. It could have been path breaking had the opposition BJP continued with same spirit. “It was sad that BJP was trying to destroy the national consensus on resolution of Kashmir problem initiated by none other than its patriarch Atal Behari Vajpayee,” he said. Underlining the need for consensus on Kashmir, the PDP patron said, “While the misery and pain of people of the State should itself have been enough to stir the political class of the country into proactive resolution effort, larger impact of the problem on regional peace and progress made it all the more necessary for them to sink differences on the issue. It was strange that they should instead be trying to run each other down and in the process and hold the state and the region to ransom”. He said the campaign launched by BJP in the State had the potential of degenerating into a divisive discourse that would be the last thing that people of Jammu and Kashmir ever needed. “While the day to day priorities of the political parties kept changing in accordance with political dynamics, problems like Kashmir needed a consistent and consensual approach as it touches the lives of millions of people. It is therefore necessary that leaders like LK Advani raise the debate to dignified political levels and use their prestige and stature for onward movement in the resolution effort”, he said. “The BJP and other NDA constituents should in fact mount pressure on the Government of India (GoI) to fast track the peace process with Pakistan and inside the state. They should in a truly democratic system be urging the GoI to come out of its cosmetic exercises on Kashmir, resume dialogue with separatists that was initiated by Advani, stop excesses committed by an insensitive coalition and reduce miseries of the people reeling under corruption, inefficiency and indifference,” added Mufti.