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Volume 3, No. 12 - June 2004

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Mehbooba Mufti going down the fatal path
Editorial Team

After getting elected to Indian Parliament, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, daughter of J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayed, has now repeated her demand that the Indian Central government should allow Pakistanis to freely travel to Kashmir.

It is appalling to see Mehbooba making such demands right on the heels of a gruesome massacre of 33 Indian soldiers and their families, carried out by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorists. The ease with which Hizb terrorists are moving around in Kashmir and engaging into such dastardly acts of violence should tell Mehbooba that Pakistanis are already traveling freely to and in Kashmir. Instead of demanding free travel for Pakistanis, she and her government in the State of Jammu and Kashmir need to take strong steps to improve the security conditions for innocent citizens.

Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the newly formed Central government in New Delhi need to understand that the slight lull (if any) in the infiltration from across the border is not a sign of trend in that direction. Instead it is a cyclical phenomenon. With the snows melting in the higher reaches, the infiltration is bound to increase. Killing of 33 Indian soldiers and their families near Qazigund in Kashmir was just the beginning of a hot and bloody summer in the valley.

Asked about the spurt in terrorist activities, including the recent killing of security personnel and their family members, Mehbooba Mufti said "we have to understand a cruel reality that we cannot rule them (terrorists) out until or unless the problem (Kashmir issue) is solved."

It is outrageous on account of a leader of the ruling party to indirectly condone the violent acts of terrorists (till date, Mufti government has not condemned the killing of 33 security personnel and their families). By making the eradication of terrorists dependent upon the resolution of Kashmir issue, Mehbooba Mufti is engaging into the same black-mail tactics that terrorists and Pakistan are engaging in. There does not seem to be any difference between Mehbooba Muftiís and Sallahudinís tactics. The only difference is that one is within the government and other one is without.

Indiaís Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his government should withhold all negotiations for a period of 12 months until it is really proven that the Pakistan has lived up to her promises to eradicate the terrorist elements from her land and has stopped all kinds of support to Islamic terrorists coming from Pakistan into India. Otherwise, the lives of soldiers, their families and innocent civilians will be at tremendous risk. If their massacre goes unrecognized, it would confirm that the lives of innocents have no value in the eyes of current ruling governments. 

Also, Indian mainstream media needs to do its job of being a watch-dog for the interests of common citizen. While Indian media was too busy speculating on the formation of new cabinet and the portfolio assignments for new ministers in the center, it was shocking to see how it almost ignored the gruesome massacre of 33 Indian security officials and their families in Kashmir. There sacrifices were reported in footnotes of Indian media and that is tragic at best.

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