‘Mahatma Gandhi’s country looking like a banana republic’


By News Desk

Urging government of India to roll back the draconian measures in Kashmir that have imprisoned an entire population, People’s Democratic Party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has said the narrow minded approach to the problem has already caused serious setback to peace process.

In a statement issued today he said the least the government could do to retrieve the situation to some extent in the aftermath of the execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru would be to lift unconstitutional curbs on normal life and return his body to the family.

Mufti said it was sad that our democratic system could not accommodate some basic decency and legal requirements in dealing with an issue that could have very serious impact on the state and its future. He said clemency to Afzal would only have lifted the democratic profile of the country, enhanced its prestige and sent a positive message of accommodation to people of the state. “If there ever was an overwhelming reason to use the provision of commutation provided by our constitution both for legal and political reasons it was this”, he said.

Referring to the setback suffered by peace process in Kashmir Mufti said the latest events have unfortunately created a sense of defeat among people who have been bruised by six and a half decades of uncertainty and bloody history. “I wish it doesn’t consume another generation of Kashmiri youth but one cannot wish away the apprehension” Mufti said.

It is no good to regret the inability of the government to deny Afzal’s family a last mandatory meeting with him or deny his body to the family. This he said reduces Mahatama Gandhi’s country, world’s largest democracy and a genuine candidate for super power status as a banana republic.

Mufti said by the extent and scale of curbs put on normal life Kashmir today does not look like part of Indian democracy. He said nowhere in civilised world much less in a functioning democracy could an entire population be imprisoned, news papers, internet, cable services banned and provisions denied. “It is no less than a collective punishment” he said while demanding immediate lifting of curfew and other restrictions including information blockade.

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