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Shrinking of political space for PAGD will result in rise of separatism says Soz

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By: Tariq Shah VOV


Speaking to a National Daily Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Prof. Saif-ud-Din Soz has warned central leadership of BJP not to push mainstream political parties of Kashmir to the brink and said that the actions taken by the central government so far have already given rise to the separatist tendencies here afresh.

He said that BJP is very keen to impose itself over the people of Jammu and Kashmir by hook or by crook and this policy will finally lead to a situation that the entire mainstream camp of Jammu and Kashmir will become irrelevant.

He said that the space is being provided by the BJP policies to the separatist and already the anger against the central government is growing and it can lead to a very dangerous situation.

Soz in his interview said, “The present situation demands a dialogue between the Central Government and the mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir”, he said and added “Unfortunately they are talking against mainstream political outfits, day in and day out”.

“New Delhi lacks a substantial policy about Kashmir. Bureaucrats have been brought from outside J&K who are ruling on us. It is groping in the dark. The abrogation of Article 370 will remain unacceptable for people of J&K. At present people are subdued but they are angry. But GOI doesn’t care about all this! I think it is because BJP has not been a party to build this relation between J&K and the Union of India”.

About ensuing DDC polls, the senior Congress leader said that “I think the Central Government is not enthusiastic about holding assembly elections here in the near future. As far as the DDC elections are concerned, parties like NC and PDP have said that their workers are being stopped from running poll campaigns on the pretext of security threat. All others who belong to BJP are free to run their poll campaign. BJP leaders including Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain are allowed to go wherever they wish. But only local mainstream workers are being stopped. They want to impose BJP in Kashmir without knowing its repercussion” he said.

When asked what would be these ‘repercussion’, he said these (repercussions) have already started showing up. Separatism is growing exponentially here, however BJP are turning a blind eye to the situation.

Hailing the decision of PAGD in participating DDC polls, the senior Congress leader said that BJP abrogated Article 370 and 35(A) unilaterally in the Parliament and without taking the concerned people on board, which put a big undemocratic blot on the move. He said the regional parties and the people are not a party to this undemocratic process but they still want to avail the little democratic space which is available in terms of the DDC elections. “I think the decision of PAGD to take part in these polls was a wise one”, Soz added.

Answering a question why Congress failed to preserve the autonomy in true sense he said, “diluting autonomy was the wrong thing to do. Dr. Karan Singh once said in an interview that ‘If the Union of India has been consistent on anything in relation to Jammu and Kashmir it was the dilution of the autonomy’. So weakening of Article 370 was a mistake, but here it has been abrogated by the BJP. As a Kashmiri I agree our party has committed several mistakes in Kashmir”.

About the recent amendments in the land laws initiated by the central government Soz said, “The designs behind changing the laws related to land can be to change the demography. They (BJP) want the demographic change to occur because they think that will be the permanent solution to the problem but if they do that, they will lose Kashmir altogether”.

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