Srinagar: Former minister and National Conference leader Dr Mustafa Kamal, son of Kashmir’s first prime minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, said on Thursday that his elder sister Khalida Shah, wife of former chief minister Ghulam Mohammad Shah, has been asked to personally appear for a phone connection by the state-owned BSNL.
Terming the act as “shameful”, the former minister says that such “an attitude reduces the trust and confidence” between J&K and New Delhi and “leads to further alienation of the people particularly the youth from Indian mainstream.”
A statement issued by Kamal said he flayed the “central government agency BSNL for taking undue advantage of the current unrest in Kashmir and elsewhere in the state by refusing to give BSNL connection to new applicants from the affected areas on one pretext or the other.”
Kamal is so agitated that he invoked his father Sheikh Abdullah to flay the “colonial” attitude of the Government of India and its subsidiaries.
“Don’t allow them (Kashmiris) to live in peace (and) also don’t allow them to die of hunger,” he said, quoting the late Abdullah, and described it as India’s “carrot and stick policy regarding J&K.”
Kamal said the “Indian government’s (colonial) attitude” was at its zenith during the devastating floods of September 2014 when food packets meant for the sufferers never reached them and before even a penny could reach the flood victims, the Indian Air Force “grabbed Rs 500 crore as service charges that the Indian government paid right away.”
“Policy-makers in Delhi should rectify this drift before it is too late,” Kamal said.
Khalida is widow of former chief minister Ghulam Muhammad Shah, whose record of clamping curfew and shoot-at-sight orders in Srinagar when he toppled his brother-in-law Farooq Abdullah’s government in 1984, has been overshadowed by the even more stringent 51-day curfew under the rule of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.