Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday targeted the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) report on Jammu and Kashmir and described several claims made in it as “brazen lies’‘.
“I am shocked that BJP’s politics of deceit has dragged down even the Home Ministry. Not only does this report reek of lies but it also discredits a crucial portfolio once headed by Sardar Vallabhai Patel. All of the Government of India’s brazen lies are passed off as truth,” Ms. Mufti said in Srinagar.
She was referring to the MHA data that J&K received investments worth ₹56,000 crore in the past three years. These figures were contrary to the Ministry’s reply in the Lok Sabha on December 13 where the total investment was said to be ₹1,084 crore.
On MHA’s statement on holding panchayat election in J&K, Ms. Mufti said, “Showcasing panchayat election in J&K as their biggest achievement is also a farce. The first panchayat elections were held in J&K during Sheikh sahib’s regime and later during Farooq sahib’s regime. Even the MHA makes careless remarks and come up with lies because there is lack of accountability from the media,” Ms. Mufti said.
She also accused the BJP of using the incidents like Rajouri, where militants killed six civilians this week, “to demonise Muslims, especially Kashmiris”.
“Why did such an incident occur in the first place? People say they had reported movement of militants. Earlier, two civilians were killed in Rajouri and the Army promised to hold a probe. That report is yet to come out. The J&K situation is very scary and the BJP is responsible for that,” Ms. Mufti said.
Ms. Mufti also described the MHA’s move to form a committee on the protection of Ladakh’s land, jobs, identity and culture as mere “jumlay baazi [deception]”. “Ladakh’s land, jobs and identity getting protection is a good move. Ladakh is part of us. One fails to understand why a committee needs to be formed when they could grant protection. Why no such committee was formed when Article 370 and 35A were abrogated (in 2019)? We all, Dogras, Ladakhis and Kashmiris, lost their identity in 2019,” Ms. Mufti said.
She said Dogras of Jammu were the worst sufferers post 2019. “Business has been badly hit in Jammu. All contracts have gone to outsiders. Even liquor licences have been given to outsiders,” Ms. Mufti said.
The former Chief Minister said the recent orders on land ownership and land leasing are only aimed “to allow settlers in J&K on the lines of Israeli policy”.
Ms. Mufti said the BJP was creating the Hindu-Muslim divide to hide real issues like unemployment and poverty from the people. “Such an approach has dangerous ramifications for a country like ours. This nation was founded on democracy and secularism,” she added.