Out of power politicians won’t hesitate to come out against the government of the day. It was Mehbooba Mufti, the PDP chief and former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir who warned the Centre of ‘extremely dangerous’ consequences if the BJP Government tries to engineer a split in her party. It was another former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah who had advocated for an Ireland-style solution of an open border between the UK-governed Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic’s adjacent territory as the best option to resolve the Kashmir issue. Indirectly it looks Farooq has endorsed the ‘Azadi’ formula which Kashmir has been harping for years together. Mehbooba spoke about party’s strength which is her compulsion to keep the home constituency happy. However, if there are any attempts to engineer a split in the PDP like it was done in 1987 to commit robbery on people’s vote and to crush the MUF (Muslim United Front), the results will be extremely dangerous. Mehbooba also recalled that the events post 1987 Assembly elections had “created” Syed Salahuddin, the supremo of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, and Mohammad Yasin Malik, the pro-Independence Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chief. The Ireland-style solution refers to the Common Travel Area shared between the UK and neighbouring Ireland, dating back to the 1920s. Under the arrangement, citizens of either country require minimal identity documents to travel through each other’s territories. Indirectly the solution advocates two Kashmirs with an easy border and autonomy. Isn’t it adopting independence via autonomy principle promoted by none other than National Conference itself. Why it is that these politicians speak double tongue. Why did not they pursue the ideology during their own rule period? This is no new-found love for Kashmiri politicians like Abdullahs or Muftis or anybody else because in Kashmir, one comes across people whose love for Pakistan will surpass the proudest and most patriotic Pakistanis. Pakistanis may even end up doubting their nationalism and patriotism on encountering such Kashmiris. Such rhetoric have not brought the much needed dividends still these politicians won’t hesitate India-bashing.
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