‘Abandoned (plebiscite) struggle, rigged 1987 polls sowed seeds of current mess’

‘Abandoned (plebiscite) struggle, rigged 1987 polls sowed seeds of current mess’

CM seeks cooperation from Opposition in taking J&K out of cycle of ‘violence, uncertainties’
Srinagar: Is an abrupt end to a 22-year-old struggle for right to self-determination, and a rigged election in which the pioneering proponents of Kashmiri independence movement were in lead, responsible for the armed insurgency and current political uncertainties? Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti suggested so in the assembly today.
“She said the 22-year-long political struggle and its abrupt end in the mid ‘70s and the rigged elections of 1987 almost finished the space for political dissent in Jammu & Kashmir which ultimately forced the youth to resort to violent means. These events have laid the seeds of uncertainties of present times in the State (sic),” a statement issued by government information department said.
The 22-year-old struggle she was referring to is the Plebiscite movement that was led by National Conference following the arrest of its founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. It was abandoned after Sheikh signed an accord with then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, in 1974. Many of the resistance leaders and militant commanders had participated in 1987 elections that were rigged by National Conference-Congress combine in cahoots with New Delhi.
Her statement assumes significance as it effectively grounds the current situation in an aborted right-to-self-determination movement and withholding power from pro-azadi dissenters.
She said the recent uprising, during which her political capital has taken a dent, is also the “direct fallout of many of the past political misadventures by some political forces who only wanted to remain in power.”
Seeking cooperation from Opposition in “taking Kashmir out of the cycle of uncertainties and violence”, Mehbooba said, “Everyone in the state is pained by the repeat of cycle of violence and killings which she said ought to be stopped.”
She said that only two ago she received the final report of Justice (Retd) M L Koul Commission that inquired into the killing of more than 120 youth in 2010.
“How long shall we be appointing commissions and enquiries and receiving their reports. We need to have joint efforts in getting Jammu & Kashmir out of it,” the statement quoted her as saying.
Paying tributes to the leaders who passed away in the intervening period, the Chief Minister described them as personalities who not only contributed to the development of the State but also worked tirelessly to maintain and preserve the secular ethos of Jammu & Kashmir.
Terming former J&K Governor, Lt. Gen. (R) S. K. Sinha as an articulate and knowledgeable personality, the Chief Minister said he would long be remembered for his distinguished carrier in army and subsequent gubernatorial stints.
Mehbooba Mufti described former Union Minister, Muhammad Shafi Qureshi as one among the rare politicians of the State who led a principled political life, never compromised on it but remained steadfast with conviction. She described late Pt. Mangat Ram Sharma as a mass leader who all along his life fought for his people.
The Chief Minister also paid glowing tributes to late Mohammad Shafi Bhat, late Ghulam Din Shah, late Aziz Mohammad Qari, late Prithvi Chand and late S. Dharam Bir Singh Oberio.

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