'Save Afzal Guru' Is A Mission Possible, Says Kashmir MLA3 September 2011
Srinagar: ‘Mission: Save Afzal Guru’ has picked-up momentum in Jammu and Kashmir with the independent MLA from Langate Sheikh, Abdul Rasheed, formally issuing a public appeal to the three main political parties - National Conference, Congress and People’s Democratic party - to support his resolution for amnesty to the convicted terrorist on humanitarian grounds. “I appeal to these parties to rise to the occasion and support my resolution for Guru’s amnesty. It is in the interest of the government of India, the people of India and the entire sub-continent. The assembly is not for fixing the rates of onions and potatoes. Let us debate this issue which will restore the credibility of democratic institutions.” The firebrand independent lawmaker known for championing human rights causes, lashed out at political leaders for objecting to the ‘save Afzal’ resolution. “On the one hand there is growing realisation for reconciliation and on the other they want Afzal to be executed. Why are these leaders silent when Tamil Nadu passes the resolution seeking clemency for Rajiv Gandhi’s killers? Why isn’t there any furore when Punjab chief minister seeks amnesty for Bhullar? Why is it when Kashmir takes up the Afzal issue abuses are hurled and we are called anti-nationals?” asked Rasheed pointedly. The MLA further asked J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah to emulate the Tamil Nadu chief minister got the resolution seeking clemency for Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins passed. “Why is there such a hue and cry over Omar’s tweet about Guru? The TN chief minister herself got the resolution in Tamil Nadu passed. If Jayalilta can do it why can’t Omar? He is the leader of Jammu and Kashmir”, he said. Rasheed asked both National Conference and PDP to stop exploiting the people in the name of autonomy, and urged them to take practical steps to help them instead. “If the assembly represents the sentiments of the people then they should pass the resolution because 100 percent of the people irrespective of caste creed and colour want Afzal to be given amnesty. Let the NC, PDP and Congress join the people and save Afzal from going to gallows”, he said. Rasheed hoped that this resolution would not meet the fate of the autonomy resolution which was summarily rejected by the NDA government despite the ruling National Conference being part of the alliance at that point of time.