K-Panel Mere Ploy To Defuse Crisis: Rasheed

K-Panel Mere Ploy To Defuse Crisis: Rasheed

14 April 2012
Kashmir Observer
Nazir Ganaie

Srinagar: Damning the Kashmir interlocutors’ mission last year as a crisis management exercise, the independent legislator from Langate, Engineer Abdul Rasheed, on Monday questioned the relevance of their report, purported portions of which have been published, saying that it did not reflect the aspirations of the Kashmiri people but would only serve to heighten their hatred for India. Known for his plain-speaking, the MLA who had defeated NC stalwart Shariefuddin Shariq in the last assembly elections, lashed out at the Indian establishment for withholding his passport, and demanded an apology, and compensation, from the prime minister for the security forces using locals in his area as bonded labour. “New Delhi is living in a fool’s paradise to claim Kashmir as the crown of India as every panel has failed to represent the true aspirations of the Kashmiri people. We should not expect any paradigm shift even when the interlocutors’ report is made public formally,” the legislator said at a press conference here, referring to the publication of what a leading national daily said were crucial portions of the K-panel’s recommendations. “If media reports were to be believed, the interlocutors have recommended nothing new. The entire exercise seems to me to have been an attempt at crisis management rather than a serious endeavour to resolve issues,” he said, pointing out that the panel had been appointed at the “peak of the 2010 summer unrest.” “There is nothing in the report that Kashmiris can celebrate on. Going by what had been put out in the public domain, it is clear that the interlocutors were sent here to defuse the political crisis that erupted here in 2010,” he said. “If what has been published in the newspapers reflects what the interlocutors have suggested, then the report goes against the aspirations the aspirations of the people, and their hatred against India will increase,” he said. “When the chief minister of the state doesn’t have any knowledge about the interlocutors report, how was the sensitive document leaked to the media? It has shown the non-serious approach of New Delhi towards resolving the Kashmir issue,” Rasheed said. “ It (New Delhi) takes every issue in Kashmir very casually and will have to bear the consequences, And, on other hand, the state government turns every issue, like the NHPC and the Haji Yousuf case, into a farce, he said. “The interlocutors also visited my area (Langate) where people clearly told them what they wanted, but that does not seem to have been reflected in the report. At that time, people thought I was associated with some agency but I wanted to let the team know what people actually wanted,” said the MLA. Claiming that the 50,000 passport applications were lying ‘un-attended’ with the passport authority in Kashmir, Rasheed asked why even those with no connection with militancy or any police record were being discriminated against if India claimed Kashmir to be its crown. The legislator is on the security agencies' ‘negative list’ and is fighting a legal battle to get a passport, having applied under the Tatkal scheme in January 2011. “I am asking for the reasons for denying me a passport. If India does not consider MLAs trustworthy, what mindset does it reflect?” he said “This year my passport was not regularized after negative remarks were fed by security agencies to the passport office after verification,” he said. “I want to submit my form for performing Hajj but I have to clear my passport first, If this is the plight of a sitting MLA, you can imagine what a commoner must be going through,” he said. “The government is making false claims about providing passports to every Hajj aspirants. The situation is that there are around 50,000 passport cases pending before authorities and most of them are remotely related to the people who had some or the other connection with militancy,” he said. He also said that the state government was only paying lip service on the issue of transfer of power projects from NHPC to the state. “That the state government is not serious about it became clear when nobody voted the resolution on the issue in the Assembly,” he said. Voicing concern over bonded labor in various areas of the north Kashmir, Rasheed urged the prime minster to intervene into the matter and compensate the victims. “The prime minister should apologize to these people and make necessary compensations,” he said. He claimed that the police had already acknowledged and a made a report in this regard. “I must acknowledge the role of police this time, they did their job well in confessing that the people of such areas had been forced into bonded labour,” he added.