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BJP Targeting Those who Stood for ‘Idea of India’ in J&K: Mehbooba Mufti

Anees Zargar |
The former CM lashed out at the ruling party for removing “Sher-e-Kashmir” -- a moniker used for National Conference founder Sheikh Abdullah – from the region’s premier healthcare institute, SKIMS.
Mehbooba Mufti

Srinagar: Mehbooba Mufti, president of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday slammed the Jammu and Kashmir administration and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for being selective and pursuing “divisive politics” in the region. 

The former chief minister of the erstwhile state lashed out at the ruling party for removing the “Sher-e-Kashmir” -- a moniker used for National Conference founder Sheikh Abdullah – from the region’s premier healthcare institute, SKIMS (Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences), that she termed as an attempt to alter history of the place.

During an interaction with media at her party headquarters in Srinagar, Mufti said while Pakistan is rewarding people who the country thinks are furthering 'their' ideas in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP is punishing those who stood by the ‘idea of India’ here.

The removal of Sheikh Abdullah’s name was widely condemned by the regional political parties, including National Conference – most of whom hold the first Prime Minister of J&K in high regard for acceding to the Indian union. The fresh instance is part of many such changes carried out by the J&K administration in the region since the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A on August 5, 2019.

“Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Sahab being a case in point who the BJP wants to erase from history. Nothing less can be said about Mufti sahib who held the idea of India so dear to him,” she said.

Mufti was responding to a question regarding the appointment of Mushaal Hussein Mullick, wife of Kashmiri separatist Yasin Malik, as special advisor on human rights to the new caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan. In 2009, Malik married Pakistani national Mullick who is currently based in Pakistan along with their daughter.

“I am not an advocate of Mushaal Mullick but she is not any terrorist or even a terror accused unlike her husband. But in the BJP, we have terror accused people like Sadhvi Pragya Thakur who openly calls for genocide of Muslims and BJP is rewarding such people,” she said.

Mufti, a vocal critic of the ruling BJP, also termed the recent remarks of former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad (who has floated his own party) on Indian Muslims as “highly regrettable” and said that it echoed the ideology and narrative of RSS-BJP against Muslims of the country.

Azad had recently said that all Muslims in India were essentially Hindus and converted to Islam only some time ago. Mufti said that Azad's remarks were "dangerous and divisive" adding that Muslims in India were "unsafe" because of this “mindset”. 

“Such remarks manifest in the atrocities and violence against Muslims in the country which is evident from the recent incident in Uttar Pradesh where the parents of a Muslim boy who had married a Hindu girl were lynched,” she said.

“The government is supposed to build houses, but the BJP government is busy demolishing them selectively, especially those that belong to Muslims,” she added.

BJP’s J&K spokesperson Altaf Thakur, however, while rebuking Mufti said that the appointment of Mullick as a minister is Pakistan’s traditional policy of “glorifying terrorists and terror”.

“PDP chief should introspect and stop advocating and provoking people on Pakistan’s agenda. She should also stop speaking Pakistan’s language. Enough blood has flown in Kashmir,” Thakur said.

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