No Idea, Sirji!
While the government continues to be missing on the ground, the Kashmir-based PDP has been ambiguous and at times confusing in its response to the situation, post the killing of Hizb commander Burhaan Wani, as the death toll has touched 70.
At most of the times the statements issued by the chief minister as well as her party, PDP, have been contradictory in nature. Here are some of the statements, pieced together by Mudasir Qadri:
|| MUDASIR QADRI
July 14: “Will re-look into the killing” “Yes, the Government is ready to re-look into how he (Burhan) was killed,” Government spokesman and senior PDP leader Naem Akhtar told the Hindu.
July 15: “Op in violation of laid down procedures” PDP’s Muzffar Hussain Baig questioned the killing of Burhan Wani, saying the operation had violated the procedure laid down by the Supreme Court for face-offs between security forces and militants even when the armed forces have special powers under the controversial AFSPA. “In just a three and a half minute long operation how could anyone have followed Standard Operating Procedures?… It is a serious offence and I have asked the Chief Minister to appoint a high-powered committee that will examine the circumstances in which Burhan Wani was killed,” news agency IANS quoted Baig as saying.
July 21: “Why wasn’t he arrested?” Raising questions on the need for Burhan’s killing and its timing, PDP MP Muzzafar Hussain Baig said, in the parliament, if the militant commander was on the radar of intelligence agencies why was he not arrested earlier?
July 22: “Use your good offices” Speaking at an all-party meet in Srinagar, Mehbooba broke-down requesting all parties to use their “good offices” to resolve the crisis. “I request all of you, please use your good offices…we have to address this issue. We should talk…,” said Mehbooba.
July 24: “Pakistan encouraging Kashmiri youth to take up guns” Following her meeting with the home minister Rajnath Singh who visited Kashmir to assess the situation, Mehbooba hit out at Pakistan troubles in the Valley. “While Pakistan tortures those who take up guns in its own territory, it teaches some other lesson to our Kashmiri children. This is wrong and hypocritical,” she told media.
July 28: “There was a chance” Burhan Wani would “have been given a chance” had security forces who shot him been aware of his identity, Mehbooba told NDTV, contradicting earlier details about how the 22-yearold militant commander was killed.
August 9: “Burhan Wani was pious” Stating that PDP has “no ill-will or grudge against the people mourning his (Burhan’s) death,” Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, PDP legislator from the slain militant’s hometown Tral, told The Indian Express: “He (Burhan) was not a terrorist… People loved him because he was a great and pious character. I am from Tral and I know how much people loved and respected him. Their mourning is justified.”
July 15: “Not first time” In her August 15 speech at Bakshi Stadium here, Mehbooba, while talking about the Burhan’s killing, said: “It is not that an encounter has happened in Kashmir for the first time…Children should not be indulging in agitation. They should be going to schools and colleges. It is not for children to solve big issues…Parents should also ensure that their children do not go out where their lives could be in danger.”
August 22: Unrest was pre-planned” Asserting that she had planned so many developmental programs to be pushed after Eid, Mehbooba said the unrest was “pre-planned” as “vested interests” were keen to latch on to something to trigger unrest. “I don’t understand what happened… people were waiting for a chance. Whenever the situation becomes little better in J&K, tourism starts, work begins, something or the other happens which creates problems in normal functioning,” Mehbooba said.
August 23: “Only 5% Kashmiris creating trouble” Speaking at a function in Jammu, Mehbooba said only 5 percent of ‘unhappy people’ in Kashmir were creating trouble and trying to unsettle the PDP-BJP coalition government. “While 95% of people of Kashmir want to open their shops and other business establishments, send their wards to schools and colleges and live peacefully, a handful of people who hardly constitute 5% are least bothered about the welfare of others,” Mehbooba claimed, while urging Government of India to “identify such elements.”
August 26: “Had they gone to fetch toffees, milk” Justifying the killings by security forces in the ongoing unrest, Mehbooba said those hit by bullets or pellets had not gone to fetch milk or toffees. “Had a kid gone to buy a toffee from an army camp? A 15-year-old boy who attacked a police station (in south Kashmir), had he gone to buy milk? Don’t compare the two,” she said, at a joint press conference with the home minister Rajnath Singh here. “Today, 95 per cent of the boys who have been killed are from poor families. They were killed and wounded in retaliation when they attacked police stations and Army
August 28: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti visited Safdarjung Eye Centre at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to enquire about the welfare of Insha, a young Kashmiri girl undergoing treatment for pellet injuries. The Chief Minister while interacting with the doctors at AIIMS requested them to make all possible efforts to restore the eyesight of the girl. “Even if she requires an eye transplant to make her see the world around again, the State Government would provide full support for the same,” she told the doctors. The Chief Minister assured the parents of Insha that the government would ensure best possible treatment, within or even outside the country, for their daughter. The Chief Minister also enquired about the welfare of a policeman, who was grievously injured during ongoing unrest and is undergoing treatment at AIIMS