Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir), July 20 (ANI
): The National Conference has refused to participate in the all-party meeting called tomorrow by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti
and said that it would prove to be meaningless unless a credible, effective and humane leadership is re-established in the state.
National Conference legislator Ali Muhammad Sagar in a statement said it was extremely unfortunate that although the Chief Minister saw it apt to call a meeting of the civil society in Srinagar within days of protests breaking out, it has taken almost two weeks to call a meeting of all political parties.
"It would have been better if the Chief Minister had responded to our party leadership's offer of support earlier instead of waiting for the suffering and misery of the people to reach this level. Successive statements from various high-level functionaries of the ruling coalition, especially the PDP, have not only added to the confusion but have significantly weakened the institution and office of the Chief Minister. Confusion about how much the Chief Minister knew regarding the Burhan encounter is one such example," he said.
Sagar said the assertion by one of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Members of Parliament crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi with reducing excessive use of force further weakened the image of the Chief Minister, who is now seen as a mute spectator, immune to the bloodshed and suffering.
"To make matters worse the same MP has repeatedly asserted that Burhan Wani was unlawfully killed by sections of Jammu and Kashmir Police to discredit the state's Chief Minister
. This leads one to conclude that Mufti Sahiba does not even command the loyalty of her police force, much less the loyalty of the people," he added.
Escalating his attack on the Mufti-led government in the state, the National Conference legislator voiced his criticism for mishandling of the press by first enforcing a ban and raiding offices of the news papers.
"Until such time a credible, effective and humane leadership is re-established in the state this all-party meeting will prove to be a meaningless exercise. I regret that Jammu and Kashmir National Conference is unable to participate under the circumstances," he added.
Sagar further said that his party has already submitted a detailed memorandum to Governor N.N. Vohra wherein steps to ease the tension have been mentioned.
"My party has always played a positive role in maintaining peace and harmony in the state and we will continue to do so regardless," he added.
The development comes days after National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had raised questions on Jammu and Kashmir
being 'unrepresented' at a high-level meeting convened by Prime Minister Modi to review the law and order situation of the state following the spate of violence.
Mehbooba had called the all-party meeting in the wake of the death of 44 people, including many civilian protesters and two policemen, in the violence that began after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani was killed along with two of his associates in a gunfight with the security forces earlier on July 8.
Opposition National Conference
, Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist and others have been invited to the meeting in Srinagar
to discuss the prevailing law and order situation.
Meanwhile, the separatists have decided to extend their shutdown call up to July 25 even as the authorities have clamped curfew in certain regions. (ANI