The meeting of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) council in Srinagar was flaunted by state government as a sign of normalcy, but Opposition Congress said today that the people can’t be fooled with gimmicks.
The GST meet was held even as protests continued across Kashmir as stone-pelting youth clashed with the government forces. While the mega event has been portrayed by Mehbooba Mufti’s government a sign of peace, but situation continued to remain restive elsewhere in the state.
Finance Minister, Haseeb Drabu, described the event as historic and even stated that they are looking at agreements that the GST council is expected to reach during its consultations and issue a Srinagar declaration.’’ Government has informed the Centre that there was peace in the region and also discussed the idea with the different Finance Minister’s about the potential to boost tourism here.
However, while the meet was going on, the streets in many towns and villages in the Kashmir remained affected by the violent clashes that have broken out after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Muzafar Wani, last year in July. The use of pellet guns and repeated clashes with security forces has already pitted the people against the government.
Though the meeting of the GST council, with more than two dozen finance ministers of different Indian states in attendance, is being flaunted as an opportunity to showcase J&K’s increasing integration with India’s socioeconomic mainstream, but Congress said today that the people can’t be fooled by such events.
“There is no peace here. Students are protesting every day and such events are only organized to wish away the problems being faced by people. Government has unleashed a reign of terror,’’ said Congress Vice president, Ghulam Nabi Monga.
The opposition National Conference has slammed the government with party President, Farooq Abdullah, asking for imposition of Governor’s rule and the talks with the separatists to end the current logjam in Kashmir. NC has during the recent by-elections tried to reach out to the separatists. Earlier on Wednesday, the disturbance in the state came up for review during the meeting of Union finance minister, Arun Jiatley— who holds additional charge as defence minister — as he headed straight into a review with the military brass led by Army chief General Bipin Rawat.