Updated: August 22, 2021 3:45:25 pm
Asking the Centre to learn a lesson from the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday sounded a warning to New Delhi and said that if the people of J&K “lose patience, you will not remain — you will (also) disappear”.
Mufti also had a word of caution for the Afghan Taliban, saying that the “role of guns is over”.
Mufti was addressing a public rally in south Kashmir’s Kulgam during a rare public outreach by mainstream political leaders in the Valley since the abrogation of J&K’s special status and downgrading of the state into two Union Territories in August 2019.
“Patience needs courage. What people of Jammu and Kashmir are enduring…the day they lose patience, you also will not remain — you will disappear,” Mufti said. “I am telling you again and again: don’t test our patience; understand and correct (yourself).”
Mufti urged the Centre to take lessons from the Taliban capture of Afghanistan and resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue. “Understand what is happening in the neighbourhood…. Such a big power — America — had to fold their beds and return,” she said. “You (the Centre) still have an opportunity. The way (former PM Atal Bihari) Vajpayee-ji started a dialogue — with outside (Pakistan) and here (in J&K) — you also (should) start a dialogue.”
Referring to the abrogation of special status and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into UTs, Mufti said, “What you have robbed us of illegally and unconstitutionally — the identity of J&K — that you have distorted, and the pieces that you did to J&K….correct this mistake, or else it would be too late,” she said.
The PDP chief accused the BJP-led Centre of misusing central agencies such as the NIA, CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to crush dissent and political opponents. Warning of communal polarisation, she said that if the BJP doesn’t mend its ways, India would break into many parts on communal and religious lines.
On the Afghanistan situation, Mufti said, “They (Taliban) made the US flee from Afghanistan but now the world is watching their (Taliban) behaviour. I urge the Taliban not to commit any act that forces the world to go against them. The role of guns is over.”
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