Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Opposition party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said that hanging of Afzal Guru has created a trust deficit in the Valley. She added that it was an "unfortunate" decision which the Congress-led government took to combat the Bharatiya Janata Party and not terrorism.
Mehbooba also refused to buy Omar Abdullah's explanation that he was not a part of the decision and said the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister should share the responsibility of Guru's hanging being a part of the UPA government. She said that Kashmiri were feeling disempowered after the incident.
Even on Friday, Mehbooba had expressed her disappointment over the hanging of Guru and had demanded that his body should be handed over to the family for the last rites. "While the hanging should not have been carried out, the return of Afzal's body was the least the government could do to show its concern for humanitarian values," the PDP president had said in a statement.
Mehbooba had said that her party believed that whatever the requirements of legal process, there was a need for the government to take into consideration the overall political impact of this execution, which is the reason why the option of mercy has been provided under the constitution. She had said the PDP had, keeping this in view, made an appeal to the President of India in 2011 to grant clemency to Guru and commute his death sentence into life imprisonment.
"We feel that at a time when there is a need to step up measures to reduce the trust deficit between the state and rest of the country, the execution of Afzal Guru could produce results to the contrary. Our party is generally in favour of scrapping death penalty from the statute book and we reiterate that position once again," she had said. Referring to the Chief Minister's claim that he had no role in carrying out the execution, Mehbooba said the state government cannot be absolved of its responsibility in taking this crucial decision that can have long term political implications on the state.
"The NC is part of the UPA and it must share the responsibility for this decision. Power sharing can't be in isolation of sharing the fallout of decisions," she had said. Appealing for restraint in expression of feelings, Mehbooba had said that the people of the state have already suffered too long and too much "at the hands of this trigger happy government with loss of life in 2010 only the latest which awaits closure".
(With additional information from PTI)