The former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, on Thursday said the response of the Union government to the current crisis in the State bordered on an insult to the people.

The People's Democratic Party founder was commenting on the statement made at the end of the meeting convened by Prime Minister on Wednesday evening to discuss the Kashmir situation.

The Mufti said linking the genuine anger and anguish among people here with terrorism was nothing short of an assault on their self-respect and dignity.

“At the receiving end”

It appeared that the disconnect between the Union and the State was deliberately being fuelled to push the people to the wall and justify the crackdown on unarmed people. “We have been at the receiving end of the anti-national label for too long and dubbing an entire people as being vulnerable to inspired influences raises questions not just about this place but the whole idea of India,” he said.

At a time when Kashmir was mourning its dead and trying hard to come to terms with its huge loss, school-going teenagers at that, the State deserved at least a statesmanlike response from the Prime Minister, which unfortunately was missing from the terse government communiqué. Instead, what has been promised is “more force” in an already over militarised place, he said.

The people were forced to stage demonstrations in the absence of adequate response to their sentiments. Unabated human rights violations were on and they were not being addressed politically. Bad and insensitive governance had only made things worse, he alleged.

Expressing dismay at attempts to relate the political crisis to the Amarnath Yatra, the Mufti said those propounding this thoughtless conspiracy angle were doing no service either to the country or the smooth passage of the pilgrimage. “The Amarnath Yatra is integral to Kashmiri ethos” and the people here do not need any lessons in communal harmony. He recalled how in 2008 people hosted pilgrims with affection even at the height of tension.