Crisis on ground, Delhi needs to respond: PDP’s Tassaduq Mufti

Speaking to The Indian Express, Tassaduq Mufti said: “PDP will have to be firm to push forth its agreed agenda of alliance."

Written by Muzamil Jaleel | New Delhi | Updated: April 19, 2017 8:27 am
Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, mehbooba mufti brother, pdp, mehbooba brother, kashmir mehbooba, mehbooba brother on kashmir crisis, mufti family, kashmir crisis, kashmir protest, kashmir violence, india news, latest news, indian express news Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti with brother Tassaduq Hussain Mufti

Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, younger brother of J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and PDP candidate for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat where the bypoll has been rescheduled for May 25 in view of the Valley situation, has said there is a “concerted effort” at various levels to “destroy even the last shred of the party’s core political base in Kashmir and completely erode its credibility”.

He said there is “complete disregard of PDP’s understanding of the current situation and necessary steps will need to be taken to assuage the hurt and anger among Kashmiri youth”. Speaking to The Indian Express, Tassaduq Mufti said: “PDP will have to be firm to push forth its agreed agenda of alliance. There is only one party in this entire conflict that is not being listened to and that is the people. Systems have broken down and there is perhaps little regard for the credibility of our (J&K) government in Delhi. But I am sure that sooner or later, Delhi will have to respond to the crisis on the ground.

This absence of political initiative and over-dependence on military methods isn’t taking us anywhere.” He said the Centre would need to do much more than maintain silence on crucial issues like forward movement on engagement and talks in Kashmir.

“We cannot do it on our own. And skirting this important aspect of our agreed common agenda does not help. When I met youngsters during my interactions recently, I found a lot of hopelessness. They have nothing to look forward to. There is nothing to be happy about. The political issue is there which forms the background. But then, they have no jobs also, and the issue of unemployment has never been addressed systematically all these years. No livelihood analysis, no innovative thinking, no trying to figure out what the actual needs are, but just window-dressing and ad hoc solutions. The ramifications are for all to see,” he said.

On the ground situation:

“We have a two-fold problem here. One is the larger political discontent, which is deep-rooted and will not go away, irrespective of which government is in Srinagar or Delhi, unless it is seriously addressed. And the other is a sense of alienation which finds a violent expression in stone-pelting that has caught the fascination of all ages and areas now; boys as young as 12 and as old as 30 are into it. It is discontent and disillusionment operating at different levels that has made space for an organised rebellious activity and we can’t afford to see everything getting wiped out in front of our eyes. It has to be a multi-pronged strategy that is sensitive to various facets of the problem.”

“Over the past few weeks, I have been meeting young people from various parts of the Valley and most of them express deep sense of distress and anger. No one has ever heard them out. Boys as young as 14 spoke about continuous harassment by the police after an FIR was lodged against them and how they have to pay bribes to get out. Most of them are not even in the voting age and they are nobody’s vote-bank, nobody’s concern. There is no communication with them. But they matter the most. And there is only a military or police response. No goodwill. So if there are ways to prevent radicalisation, I am sure that this is not one of them.”

On the way forward:

“We have to also ask direct questions. We have to ask as to why are so many youngsters being killed and injured in firing. Why aren’t the people responsible for law enforcement finding a way to prevent it? With all the gruesome videos that are making their way into public domain, one wonders about each and every killing that took place. Every case must be thoroughly investigated and those in the wrong punished. People in important positions have to be held responsible for such deterioration in the situation. One killing leads to more protests and thus more killings. we can’t afford this cycle to go on and on. If we don’t address this issue immediately, it is inevitable that the scale of our problem will go up to such a level that we haven’t witnessed earlier. We can’t wait for the problem to go so big that we run out of options.”

“I also think that this type of response where we see all — youngsters particularly and the Kashmiri population in general — only through the prism of law and order and don’t come up with a cogent plan for engagement, is not going to work, no matter how much force is used. We are dealing with a tech-savvy, sensitive, politically conscious, intelligent generation. They have no appetite for gimmickry and bluster. We have to reach out sincerely, make the administration responsive and create opportunities at all levels by improving governance. The role of those responsible for keeping order will need to be evaluated and redefined. Systems should be set in place to heal and not aggravate the problem.”

On videos of torture, beating by securitymen:

“I would ask security establishment one straight question. I am puzzled by the videos that have been put up on Internet over the past few days. Quite a few of them seemed to have been filmed by forces themselves and were subsequently released on social media for public viewing. Who allowed this and why? If a soldier has done it on his own, it is a serious case of indiscipline. And if such a thing has been authorised, then it is a much more serious issue. We would like to know why, because such illegal public display of torture and humiliation of Kashmiri youngsters, even if they were throwing stones and protesting, has a direct and dangerous implication for us in the state. It doesn’t only destroy our credibility on the ground. It has outraged people across the board. And not to forget that it hurts the reputation of the forces also. We and our workers would be lynched; by ‘we’, I mean the entire mainstream. There is no doubt that this type of provocation will further set Kashmir on fire.”

On the latest flare-up:

“Our government cannot be blamed for this latest flare-up of violence. I am not passing the buck, but we have been consistently telling the Election Commission that the situation is not conducive for holding bypolls in Kashmir. The central government was also aware that things would take much more time to normalise, especially after the widespread unrest we faced last year. We made it clear to the EC and the Centre that if they go ahead with the polls, there would be violence and the voter turnout would be embarrassingly low. They did not agree. And exactly the same thing happened during the bypolls for the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency. Eight lives were lost that day.”

“After Srinagar, it was evident that the scale of violence and protests would be much higher in south Kashmir. So, the EC decided to defer the polls. The day we wrote to them that the situation is precarious and the polls needed to be postponed indefinitely, the same evening they announced another date — May 25. They did not even send a team to assess the situation on the ground… if there is violence on May 25, it may trigger another phase of unrest… This also means that we will have a code of conduct for another month and a half, preventing us from doing any substantial work. I am at a loss to understand the logic behind this move by the EC.”

On anti-Muslim vitriol, politics over beef:

“Whatever is happening in the country, from UP to Rajasthan, has an adverse impact on the situation in Kashmir. We can’t do much about that. But we do wish that we would get help to calm tempers. It is natural that if India changes, then the relations of Kashmir will further change and, may be, change for the worse.”

On the future of mainstream politics in Kashmir:

“The way mainstream politics is conducted currently in the state wouldn’t work. We won’t be able to sustain it in this way too long. We need to engage with other political parties. Opposition is not an enemy but an opponent. We need to get together and engage each other, come up with a common front. We have a lot in common and if we don’t understand the seriousness of the threat against all of us, we will cease to exist sooner or later. It is not a question of power anymore. It is a question of order. We can’t allow Kashmir to slip into anarchy from where there is no coming back. We have to come together to convince Delhi regarding the need for immediate de-escalation and engagement in Kashmir.” “Our opposition in the mainstream also needs to understand that our loss isn’t necessarily their gain. Currently, it is a loss for all of us. We are together in this boat and if you try and make a hole in this boat, we are all going to drown together. The idea of mainstream is under challenge this time. If all of us are seen as on this side of the fence and the public sentiment is on the other side, then we become the fringe. This is a reality that I am quite aware of. That is why I want that rather than pulling one another down, we should come together to reclaim the lost ground.”

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  1. S
    Sheik Mohamed
    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:06 pm
    May be Mr.Mufit is right about his views, as far as paying of bribe to state's police is concerned as per his statement, it was his party and saffronized party combine running the state who joined hands shamelessly just for lust for power, despite having diametrically opposed views and it is their primary duty to weed out corruption in Policed Department. Why his sister who is CM of state, prefer to kept mum over the atrocities committed by security agencies in the name of maintenance of law & order/search operation? It was she who said in recent past that those who were tried to enter camps of security forces to register their protest had not gone their to fetch milk/toffee. So stop shedding crocodile tears in this issue, if you are having guts quit/dissolve J&K embly, seek again people's mandate and do not praise stan for free and fair poll, if held immediately as late Mr.Mufty Sahab heaped praised stan for the poll that was held.
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    1. S
      Shailendra Nagar
      Apr 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm
      Mr Mufti's concern about the current situation in Kashmir is justified. The PDP- BJP alliance has failed to implement basic development work in the valley.Govt needs to provide the employment and other facilities to the Kashmiri youth so that they look forward towards a meaningful future.This can take them away from the destructive practice being adopted by the extremists with the help of anti India forces including stan. But at the same time it can be said that Stone Pelting has become a fun filled sport for some youths which gives them easy money also. Further, any army action against them is propagated by biased politicians and media as inhuman . the same can not be endorsed. Why can't Govt take action as taken by Siddharth Shankar Roy CM of WB who had deplo army to evict the naxalite and in a couple of days everything had become normal.
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      1. K
        krishna kumar
        Apr 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm
        The past govts have done nothing except the money sent by the Delhi was used for more for the needs of the responsible people and the terrorists. Kashmiri house the stani terrorists in their houses, they throw stones , when terrorists are cornered,responsible politicians issue statements encouraging stone pelters, businessmen get arms and ammunition from across the borders hidden in the cargo trucks . On top of it they say that military action is not the answer to the situation. Schools are burnt but no responsible citizen in the valley ever informed about it. Infact all the politicians speak in two voices both for terrorists and the govt.
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        1. R
          Razik
          Apr 19, 2017 at 2:38 pm
          Any were in the world protest u cannot stop with bullets...sit and talk all parties because there ate pak terrorist are there to utilise situations...
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          1. L
            l s
            Apr 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm
            Do not vote and elect family members of leaders. In-experienced young men like Baby rahul need to learn some trade, instead of politics. Leaders need some political experience, and not family relation of some leader. Kashmir is gone to dogs because of such people.
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            1. I
              IndianAtHeart
              Apr 19, 2017 at 12:59 pm
              If there is a need for engagement with boys PDP should go ahead and do it. Who is stopping them. Go ahead and create jobs. But, don't expect the w country to give them free doles for their anti-national acitivites. From his statement it appears that there is unrest in valley because security forces are trying to act against trouble makers. While the fact is central forces are there because police has failed to perform their duties. So called students attack them , snatch their weapons, prevent them from acting against heavily armed and trained terrorists. I hope for an honest essment of reasons for chaos. Without these we cant hope to see a solution.
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              1. M
                Muddasar
                Apr 19, 2017 at 12:21 pm
                The resolution of Kashmir issue rests with India, stan and Kashmir's as stake holders.We can not ignore aspirations of Kashmir's under stani Control.This is a political issue and needs political solution. Disengagement and ostrich approach of viewing it as law and order will not help.Pallets,bullets,pava and now rubber bullets is the only solution Govt of India has come up with.It is time to wake up and seriously engage with in time bound parameters and trash final resolution of this issue once for all that is acceptable to the people of Kashmir who are main stake holders and may be not in the interest of stan and India.
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                1. I
                  IndianAtHeart
                  Apr 19, 2017 at 1:02 pm
                  Can you please describe the so called political problem. Is it problem of the valley alone or that of Jammu an Laddakh also.
                  Reply
                2. N
                  Nimish Mehta
                  Apr 19, 2017 at 11:39 am
                  Dear Kashmiris, stop discussing the 'anger of Kashmiris' and start worrying about the 'anger of rest of the Indians' over Kashmiris' double standards!
                  Reply
                  1. K
                    kjingar
                    Apr 19, 2017 at 11:28 am
                    Only way is to stop press, mobile services etc, no human rights, handover to Army for deep cleansing. Let the world cry, we don't care.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      shanthi salamath
                      Apr 19, 2017 at 11:23 am
                      Whats happening in Kashmir is an untold story. News channels and media hiding many facts deliberately from the common people. UN resolution on Kashmir yet to take place in both stan and Hindustan occupied Kashmir to know the verdict of Kashmir people . Now the ground reality drastically changed and India to to treat it accordingly. Life of an ordinary Kashmir man is better than a man living on the other side of the boundary yet why those screaming for the freedom from the mother nation. A beautiful country who Hindus,Muslims and other all ethnically groups once lived now devastated by the separation of stan. If some one needs freedom from India it is better to leave this country and to live wherever they wish. Government must do all support for that. India also to understand, cow never can be a problem solver. Man are being beaten to death due to a cow and a cow treated than a Muslim in this country. So a secular thoughts can do something for our nation not the communal.
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                      1. G
                        George Cruz
                        Apr 19, 2017 at 11:17 am
                        For the last 65 years both PDP and NC haven't come with any concrete schemes to develop the state other than supporting the Kashmir separatist groups who are bunch of islamic nuts. The Islamic Caliphate Pak next door have been promising probably "pies in the skies" like the economic benefits (like an independent Islamic caliphate called Kashmir) of proposed China/ stan economic corridor which goes through the POK. What these NC/PDP Muslim leaders don't understand is that the J&K is and has been an integral part of India since the 1947 and there wouldn't be any resolution until both Pak and China withdraw to pre- independence borders. The situation in Kashmir is reminiscence of Muslims demanding a separate nation for themselves because they hated Hindus and felt superior to Hindus, they felt they can build a better nation, false promises by the British, and Pak was carved out of greater India. Today Pak is still a failed state, controlled by military dictators and islamic Mullahs
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                        1. S
                          secure
                          Apr 19, 2017 at 11:09 am
                          For India itbis better to get rid of Kashmir and all the absconder pandits should replacednin JAMMU area. India will progress. India has already lost Kashmir morally.
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                          1. C
                            Critical
                            Apr 19, 2017 at 10:39 am
                            DIFFICULT SITUATION, BUT RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOUR OF NC & PDP IS CRITICAL - SHOULD NOT P THE BUCK AND MAKE SECURITY FORCES PAY THE PRICE FOR THEIR MISGOVERNANCE AND IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOUR. The real issue like in any other state or country is bread and butter issue - employment for the youth. The Central Government has been pouring in the funds and both NC & PDP which have been governing alternatively neglected it. While in the opposition they have been playing to the gallery and irresponsibly criticizing and tweeting (Omar's latest irresponsible tweets and Farooq's very irresponsible statements). NC's rigging was a serious cause). The security forces have been facing the wrath for the failures of these two parties. Now they are asking the Central Government. Ofcourse India's neighbour has been aggravating the problem for their own reasons. These two parties need to bear in mind these situations, have the welfare of the people in mind and rule.
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                            1. S
                              S L
                              Apr 19, 2017 at 10:26 am
                              Kashmiri muslim politicians have all along been emphasizing the need for New Delhi to stop situation from deteriorating into chaos.But they have never done anything which could help restoration of order or could create atmosphere for generation of employment as if they have no stake in Kashmir and they are doing a favour by being in power.Can anyone of these politicians spell out the contours of the solution of the problem?
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                              1. N
                                Naren
                                Apr 19, 2017 at 11:12 am
                                Yes, very true.. same as the condition of UP and elsewhere w.r.t. Gau Raksha aur Anti-Romeo Squad. If you are a leader, come lead in the need. We didn't elect you to tell us stories. But now the situation can be solved, if Centre and J&K govt have will to resolve it. Else politics will continue playing such issues and we innocent people will fall on emotions and forget the real issues.
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                              2. Y
                                yash sehgal
                                Apr 19, 2017 at 9:27 am
                                Alluance with PDP was a big b er for bjp..they will always regret that.. The police of uage n appea t will never solve the problem till every stone is replied with bullet... Enough is enough. Impose Governor rule immediately..
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                                1. K
                                  krishna
                                  Apr 19, 2017 at 8:35 am
                                  Very good analysis. This is acceptance of reality. Why don't you go forward and arrive at a solution. Army action can be criticised but politicians are responsible. Why the beneficiary of this issue take the responsibility and find solutions in pragmatic way duly taking public at large into confidence. Even so called militants can be outreached through intoculators​ like earlier times. Kashmir is ours and so are Kashmiris. No doubt . Strong PDP and BJP should break their head or join their heads and arrive at solution which shall ure them big political gain in long run. Think out of box not with prejudice.
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                                  1. F
                                    Farooq Peer
                                    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:24 am
                                    Lot of sense. But unfortunately Kashmir situation is becoming another "beef" issue for RSS. Loading of videos by the security forces is too palpable to be denied. They are pandering to regimentation of Hindu electorate. Bad luck Kashmir. You are in for a lot of trouble.
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                                    1. B
                                      brk
                                      Apr 19, 2017 at 9:47 am
                                      Why not the po tion of Kashmir behave? Why youngsters who are practically getting every thing on the plate free, should indulge in stone throwing? Remember a stone is also a weapon and projectile! So the stone thrower is armed! Now why should they interfere in police/ army operations. The consequences are there! From where does RSS comes into play? Why do the muslim have to blame anything which is Hindu? The simple solution is -live by rule of the land otherwise lokk for alternatives and face the consequences.
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                                      1. G
                                        George Cruz
                                        Apr 19, 2017 at 11:27 am
                                        Yes, they are in lots of trouble because if the misguided Muslims continue their anti-national activities supported by the NC/PDP leaders, the Indian army will take over because both of these Islamic leaders haven't contributed anything towards the development of the state for the last 65 years other than support the terror groups like the Hurriyat/LeT. Remember, the J&K is and has been an integral part of India and these misguided Muslim stone pelters will get their deathwish.
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                                      2. S
                                        School Bus
                                        Apr 19, 2017 at 8:03 am
                                        This fellow advices Centre to come forward. When centre went forward for talks with an all party delegation, they boycotted it. When our jawans show commendable restraint this people through stones on them. When the question of jobs come, the traitors of Kashmir grab them from youth of Jammu and Laddakh. These Islamic militants want Nizam e Mustafa and hope that rest of country will watch silently. The only option is to brutally kill the persons who take law into their hand. Talking to them or bribing them with developmental schemes have shown no results till date. Handling situation with might is the best option now. And ask this fellow to preach those Muslim traitors and terrorists to mend their ways to stop the so called vicious cycle.
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                                        1. Z
                                          zeed
                                          Apr 19, 2017 at 7:57 am
                                          Most commenters are being willfully naive , a time tested approach fine tuned by successive regimes. Fact is every single election was a sham and a total selection where the overriding worry of GOI was retain a conquest. Either you are ignorant and take base pleasure in the sufferings of a po tion whose only label in your mind is Muslim. Whatever the case, fact remains Kashmir is ruled by a crazy despotic regime bent on breaking every rule in the book, and still expect to earn a macabre understanding from the Kashmiri people themselves. In this theater of the absurd India has managed to achieve world wide ignominy. Even an ultra right wing news website Brierbart was expressed astonishment. So please,,, you are not fooling anybody, the truth is out there for those who seek it.
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                                            brk
                                            Apr 19, 2017 at 9:54 am
                                            You are right, the po tion of Kashmir valley is a pampered lot. Why should be a soft approach towards trouble creators? Even after so many years they are no loyal to the country, one should not expect them to be now. One should be prepared for the consequences. You have problem with every thing that is not muslim or connected to the valley- cancellation of land allotment to pilgrimage, range allotment, settlement of displacement persons in the valley, just to mention a few. Have a realistic look.
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                                          2. S
                                            ss
                                            Apr 19, 2017 at 7:53 am
                                            President;s rule should be imposed without further delay to enable the forces to sort out the problem without let or hindrance. We have seen in Ceylon that a three decade long insurgency was crushed in a matter of weeks once the forces were given a free hand.
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                                            1. V
                                              vish
                                              Apr 19, 2017 at 7:28 am
                                              Mufti is right and his findings are also correct but the solution lies in the Hands of Kashmiri people and their leadership .How they can blame Delhi when they never allowed Delhi to work with them .First Kashmirs destro the Education system by forcing Pundits to leave the Valley,then came only Mosques and religious teaching,for 70 years you never Integrated with rest of India and was comfortable in Ruling poor people and supporting stan,now you can't manage so blame Delhi.Why Mufti and Abdullaha family come together and take a firm stand on Integration and remove article 370 and let Investment come in from other part of India ,then only the employment will come .Only two families are responsible for the destruction of Kashmir .This is the Result of Religion above everything else .
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