Srinagar, Feb 12 (IANS) The developments in Egypt could impact Kashmir, but nobody can foretell the shape of such an impact, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said here Saturday. Her comment drew ridicule from Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who said she seemed to be wanting “military rule” in the state.
Addressing a media conference here, Mehbooba Mufti said: “Though we had planned this press conference earlier, but in between, this Egypt development (resignation of President Hosni Mubarak) took place.”
“We congratulate the people of Egypt on their achievement, but they had an advantage, the army was on their side and they protected the people.
“Here in Kashmir also we have had a struggle for justice and the latest has been the over four-month-long summer turmoil, but the leadership here demonized thousands of youth and other people first by calling them Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) agents, then paid agents and the latest is that they are being branded as drug addicts,” she said.
Comparing the developments in Egypt with the political developments in Kashmir, Mehbooba said: “People of Egypt fought for democracy and the people of Kashmir have been fighting inspite of democracy”.
In his response, Abdullah tweeted: “Mehbooba Mufti calls for Kashmiris to replicate Egypt. Seems she wants army rule as well since her party is in opposition now.”
Meanwhile, the PDP president said the global developments have had a positive effect on Kashmir in the past.
“In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Kashmiris took a conscious decision and joined the worldwide abhorrence of violence. The transition to peaceful methods was significant, elections, street protests after 2002 were very peaceful.”
“By their own admission, the authorities accept infiltration and militancy has gone down, but unfortunately the entire political class in the country failed to respond adequately to the transition in Kashmir. Egypt could, therefore, impact Kashmir, but nobody can foretell what the shape of the impact would be.”
She demanded that the “siege of Kashmir that occurred in the aftermath of the country’s partition in 1947 should be lifted”.
“All the traditional routes those lead to other places from the three regions of the state have been the arteries for the state’s survival and these must be re-opened,” she demanded.
Talking to IANS later, Naeem Akhter, the spokesman of the party strongly denied some media reports which had said the PDP had accepted ceding some territory of the state to China which it had been occupying.
“We never said anything like that. We also did not mention the word ‘Tahrir agitation’ as has been wrongly reported by some media.”