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Liaqat Shah's arrest reinforced trust deficit, says Mufti Islah

IBNLive.com
Mar 26, 2013 at 05:40pm IST

Is there a complete breakdown of trust between people of Kashmir & security forces? Mufti Islah, Srinagar Bureau Chief, CNN-IBN joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. Is there a complete breakdown of trust between people of Kashmir & security forces? Asked by: laxman

A. Yes there is. The arrest of Liaqat has further reinforced that. Look he was a militant. No one denies it but now he had shown willingness to give the gun up and return with family to Kashmir and he gets arrested. His intentions are clear. He wants to live a peaceful life and that too when it is allowed by the J-K govt and Centre. Where is he?

Liaqat Shah's arrest reinforced trust deficit, says Mufti Islah

Is there a complete breakdown of trust between people of Kashmir & security forces?

Q. What is the amount of money spent on security force of jammu and kashmir everyyear? Asked by: Pawan

A. It is huge and thee are funds which are accounted and funds not unaccounted. There is a police modernisation programme underway and more battalions are being raised by police, army and paramilitary to curb militancy and agitations in Kashmir. New equipments, non-lethal too like pepper, pellet guns are got to deal with protests.

Q. Omar Abdullah says that India has jurisdiction over Kashmir only on three matters.How far will this statement be appreciated in Indian establishment. Asked by: Altaf

A. That is true. Omar reiterated that yesterday too in the state assembly. He did turn back to the pages of history. Before he had said that Kashmir acceded to India under special conditions but did not merge. J-K has a special constitutional status. As far as reactions across the country goes, I think people who know history will take it as it is but there is every likelihood that opposition BJP and other far-right groups will needle him for that.

Q. Trust, I suppose is a two way thing...comments? Asked by: Kelly

A. True. It is like who blinks first. The big brother in this case central government should be magnanimous. The state will have no option but to reciprocate. Let the ice break.

Q. Mufti lets face it, there has always been a trust deficit between J&K and India; however recent episodes have revived it.. do you agree? Asked by: ravi

A. Your are right. First the Afzal Guru execution episode (many in Kashmir argue that why was he not allowed a mercy petition which is very much in the constitution), then the denial to handover his mortal remains to his family (which against is the right of the family) and third the arrested militant Liaqat episode. All this is feeding, I am afraid, into the alienation.

Q. India has never been democratic when it comes to J&K, do you think its the real problem. I mean NC, I don't think its a popular option among Kashmirs..is it? Asked by: ravi

A. This is a generalised opinion here in Kashmir. People say J-K is a part of India but somehow it has never been part of Indian democracy. Rigged elections, dilution of its special status, democratic instituions are often been cited. As far as whether NC is popular or not, let people decide. Polls will decide who is voted in and who voted out next year.

Q. Like father, like son, don't you think Omar is playing to the gallery, I mean how can I CM be so helpless.. Asked by: pharhan

A. Why Omar, almost all the chief ministers have felt helpless when it comes to security issues. For example Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Ghulam Nabi Azad and the two Abdullahs have been calling for repeal of Army Act or slicing security footprints and other host of issues but seldom have that been achieved.

Q. What action needs to be taken by govt to build the trust? is it religion wise improvement or overall development front or any other specific development Asked by: Kashyap

A. First and foremost, there should be a political solution on Kashmir. It is a political issue. Peace and stability of the region will follow.

Q. What should the govt do to build the trust? Asked by: p jalali

A. To start with, let Centre implement the working groups recommendations or the recent interlocuters suggestions that calls for revoking Army Act, reducing troop numbers from civilian areas and then get all the representtaives of the three regions - Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and try to work on their aspirations. Would be difficult but hightime a table is laid across all the stake-holders without any delay.

Q. Pakistan is fishing in troubled waters, and now that America is leaving Afghanistan, there will be more to play with.. rough time ahead. Your comments. Asked by: pharhan

A. Yes, my hunch is that when Americans leave Afghanistan, Pakistan will get free on Her eastern border and then can focus on the boundary with India. Now, depending on the security dynamics at that time in Af-Pak region, one fears there might be a spill over onto this side too. Fingers crossed.

Q. Is there anything the people of J&K do from their side to build mutual trust? Asked by: Kelly

A. J-K is a very small fry when it comes to decision making. State politicians often complain that six Parliamnetary seats mean a drop in the House of 542. Even the six representatives that J-K sends are from different parties and hence they are not a force to reckon with and that they can suggest decisions on Kashmir.

Q. Does that mean elections are fair, come on I am also from Kashmir, NC and PDP have never represented Kashmirs.. they are never truly elected.. they are selected.. comments please. Asked by: pharhan

A. It's common knowledge that some elections were rigged but the one that got Omar Abdullah on to the saddle in 2009 was largely free and fair. Nearly 65 per cent people voted although many would contest that separatist leadership was not allowed to pursue their poll boycott agendas.

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