Many masks will fall: MLA Rashid on Afzal resolution

Srinagar: MLA Langate constituency Engineer Abdul Rashid Sheikh said Tuesday that many politicians, who pretend to be well-wishers of Kashmiris, will get exposed when he will move a resolution in the Assembly to seek mortal remains of Mohammad Afzal Guru and Mohammad Maqbool Bhat.
“The resolution is an acid test for all the members of the regional parties. Many masks will fall on the floor of the House and expose those people who pretend to be well-wishers of Kashmiris. The credibility of all those leaders who raised hue and cry before and after elections over Afzal Guru hanging is at stake,” Rashid told Kashmir Reader.
Rashid, whose two resolutions in the past—one in 2011, seeking clemency for Guru, and another in 2013 seeking his mortal remains—were either stalled or rejected during the Omar Abdullah-led coalition government, said the onus of the success of the fresh resolution lies on the ruling PDP and the opposition NC.
“The people will know the truth soon. They will hold the leaders of both parties accountable in case efforts are made to stall the resolution,” he said.
He said that he won’t be surprised if the PDP distances itself from the resolution “under the influence of its alliance partner BJP and the lust for power”. He also expressed apprehension that the legislators of BJP might try to stall his resolution in the House.
“When I moved a resolution seeking clemency for Guru in 2011, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had assured me full support of his party. However, five minutes before the resolution was to be tabled in the House, Mufti called me and informed me that his party can’t support me,” said Rashid.
Lashing out at the ‘double standards’ of NC, Rashid said if the former ruling party had taken a stand and supported the resolution, Afzal Guru could have been saved from the gallows.
“Now, if NC takes a firm stand on the issue, the mortal remains of Guru will be brought to Kashmir within days,” Rashid said. “If they are sincere, if they take a firm stand, let them come with me to Jantar Mantar or the residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where we will hold a sit-in. I promise in days we will bring the remains of Guru home,” he said.
“Even the Congress party has realized that they made a blunder by hanging Guru. Their senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Shashi Tharoor and Mani Shankar Aiyar also acknowledged that Afzal’s hanging was unjust and that his mortal remains must be returned to his family,” he added.
Rashid said it was the moral duty of those five Congress MLAs, who had tendered written apology over Afzal hanging before the Rajya Sabha elections, to translate their words into action.
“I voted for Congress and PDP candidates during the Rajya Sabha and MLC elections to extract truth from them. I wanted them to them acknowledge that Guru hanging was a travesty of justice. They did so. Now it is for them to listen to their conscience,” he said.
Rashid said that he also met Afzal Guru’s family last week and had a detailed conversation with them over the issue of the resolution. He said he asked Afzal’s widow Tabassum if the resolution was causing pain to her and her family.
“She extended her full support. However, she doesn’t trust pro-India parties. I have done whatever I could, and I will continue to pursue this genuine cause,” Rashid added.