Srinagar: Kashmir’s business community on Saturday demanded that the PDP should clear its stand on whether it supports the VHP, which has threatened an economic blockade of the Valley over the Dogra-era beef ban legislation. Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Kashmir Economic Alliance and Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) in a joint press release also asked their Jammu counterparts to explain their stand on the VHP’s threat.
Chairman KEA Mohammad Yasin Khan said the RSS and VHP are allied parties of the BJP, and the government – especially the PDP – should clear its stand. “We were denied permission to commemorate the flood anniversary on September 7. But the rightwing parties spew venom and still no action is taken against them. PDP should clear its stand whether they want to go with the BJP or with us,” Khan said.
According to Khan, the Jammu business community should publicly announce whether it supports the rightwing parties on the ‘economic blockade’. “We are being blackmailed that Srinagar-Jammu is the only route to Kashmir. But we have a Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road too. That road should not be for CBMs only. We will do 100% business with that part of Kashmir (sic),” he said.
According to him, the business fraternity would not allow anyone to interfere in the religious rights of the majority community.
Former KCCI president Sheikh Ashiq also challenged the rightwing parties to implement the blockade saying, “They would be responsible for the ramifications. We are not here to listen to them (rightwing Hindutva parties),” Ashiq said.
Former KCCI president Mubeen Shah said VHP state leader Leela Karan Sharma should be put behind bars for his provocative statement. “It’s clear the state government has double standards vis a vis Kashmir and Jammu,” he added. He also said that in case an economic blockade was sought to be imposed, all business could be routed through the Muzaffarabad route.
President FCIK Mohammad Ashraf Mir asked business counterparts in the Jammu region to not be influenced by political organisations. “They are dependent on Kashmir for their business and should never think about a blockade,” he said.