Mehbooba not taken seriously by India, says AG Noorani

‘Mehbooba lacks the most elementary qualities of a leader’

Srinagar: The Indian government doesn’t take present Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti seriously, who lacks the elementary qualities of a leader, writes the Mumbai-based author and lawyer AG Noorani in an opinion piece that appeared in Dawn on Thursday.

Noorani says India knows that “she has no other option but to yield to its snubs and orders,” adding that the orders for the house arrests of pro-freedom leaders come from bureaucrats in New Delhi — as they did in her predecessor, Omar Abdullah’s, time.

J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti during a press conference in 2016. Photo: Abid Bhat

 

“The BJP-PDP coalition, headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, is torn by rifts. She lacks the most elementary qualities of a leader. The BJP raises issues like the return of Pandits to the area; acceptance of Hindu refugees from Pakistan as ‘state subjects’, entitled to own property and to vote in elections; on police reforms; and even on the transfer of civil servants. This was a marriage in which each partner had kept its left hand on the door knob of the divorce court,” Noorani writes in the article.

In this terrible situation, the response of Kashmiri ‘leaders’ is an essay in irresponsibility, Noorani writes.

“Omar Abdullah seeks to acquire credibility by belatedly uttering some truths others had already accepted — for instance, that the present unrest is not inspired or sponsored by Pakistan and the Kashmir issue itself has local roots,” Noorani says.

Noorani, however, blames the resistance leadership of the Valley for their hartal politics.

“The biggest disappointment is the joint resistance leadership comprised of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik. It is no secret that it is Geelani, the short-sighted ambitious hardliner, who does the running. The hartals and shutdowns inflicted heavy losses on traders and grave stress on the populace,” Noorani writes, adding that “a long-term sustainable strategy is sorely needed” at this time.

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