By Shahnawaz Majid
SRINAGAR: While Kashmir is going through one of the worst crisis in recent years, the brick-batting between members of Kashmir Inc and some civil society members over the meeting of the former with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has surfaced.
The two parties have been locked in war of words after Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries president Mushtaq Wani, Kashmir Economic Alliance Chairperson Muhammad Yasin Khan and President Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industries attended a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister “to find out a way out to overcome the violence” which erupted in the backdrop of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. The two parties have been issuing formal statements to accuse each other. KCSDS, a civil society group led by Prof Hameeda Nayeem in a media statement accused the business fraternity of meeting the Chief Minister for petty gains. In the same statement she “clarified” that no one from the KCSDS met Mehbooba as it was a “taboo.” The statement evoked strong response with one of her forum members reacting: “You yourself last year used KCSDS banner to support Kashmir University VC Prof Khurshid Andrabi over arrest of students only because he happens to be your boss. You have no right to condemn others.”
This apparently triggered infighting within KCSDS with its founding member Shakeel Qalander disassociating himself from the handout which condemned the presence of businessmen at Chief Minister’s meeting.
Some prominent businessmen took to social media to debate the issue.
“APPEAL to one and all in regards to so called civil society which met govt recently. There seems to be a big confusion about your civil society meeting with Govt and representation. Who are you? Who do you represent? What is your mandate? When were you last on streets? Who did you speak to before and after the meeting? We want answers with proofs,” said sheikh Imran, a businessman.
The bickering at a time when nearly 40 youth have been killed and hundreds are battling for life in hospitals, has angered the people in the Valley.
“At a time when these people should have been at the forefront, they are washing their dirty linen in public. It is unfortunate that a few individuals who have vested interests are creating chaos and confusion at a critical stage,” said Suhail Ahmad, avolunteer who was helping the injured at SMHS hospital.