Opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron and ex-chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Sunday asked the central government to discipline its security establishment in handling Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a public meeting in Gadhigarh area of Gandhi Nagar assembly segment of Jammu district, Sayeed stressed on people's supremacy in running democratic institutions.
The PDP patron said: "Allowing a vibrant democracy in the state would resolve half the Kashmir problem."
Discipline security establishment in handling Kashmir, says Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
Sayeed said reports of army's intrusion into state politics is the most embarrassing poster of the democratic system and it should lead to high-level introspection to sort empowerment issues of state's democratic institutions.
"It is a known fact the people of Jammu and Kashmir have always harboured a feeling that democracy has been sabotaged in the state and even when elections are held there is a tendency to manipulate these through overt and covert methods.
"Central agencies have always been viewed with suspicion for their role in the electoral process and there is a general feeling the centre plays favourites and predetermines election outcome. This is a deadly feeling and needs to be addressed seriously if we have to find a way forward in Kashmir", he added.
Sayeed said people have to understand they can use the next elections to defeat any such designs by voting in large numbers and wisely deny anyone a chance to affect results through manipulation.
"Unless the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is accepted without reservations and their institutions are respected, the pain and suffering of the state would neither end nor would the Kashmir problem resolution become any easier.
"It is regrettable that during the last six-and-a-half decades after becoming part of the world's largest democracy, the elected institutions of Jammu and Kashmir are not allowed the same authority as in other states. The people of the state and their democratic institutions have to be trusted fully and the security agencies should stop breathing down their neck, as we believe that it is the people who provide ultimate security to the country and not the other way round.
"Armed forces and security agencies are essentially to assist the elected representatives in running the affairs of the state - an equation that has gone wrong in J~~amp;amp;K and needs to be set right without delay for the good of the country," Sayeed added.
He said the fairest ever assembly elections were held during the National Democratic Alliance regime in 2002.
He said that even in 2008 it was the tactical rigging in Srinagar carried out with active connivance of security agencies that gave the National Conference the numbers to lead the present coalition.
"They have been the worst enemies of the democratic system and the state," he said.
Mufti said NC's attempt to use the expose to cover up its atrocities and mis-governance would convince no one as the coalition government failed to uphold the security of life and dignity. He recalled that the government had condemned the victims of 2010 atrocities as paid agents, terrorists and drug addicts but was now trying to use the new allegations as a fig leaf to cover its disastrous performance.
"Even now the government forces are killing people with impunity - Shopian, Gool and Markundal being the latest instances - and protests against these excesses are handled with more atrocities like weeks of uninterrupted curfew, arrests and torture in custody," he said