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Will revoke ban on JKLF, JeI if PDP comes to power: Mehbooba

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Srinagar, Mar 26: Reiterating that “muscular policy” will only prove counterproductive in tackling the present crises in Jammu and Kashmir, former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehboba Mufti Tuesday said that if her party comes to power, it will revoke the ban imposed by the government on JKLF and Jamaat-e-Islami.

Addressing the workers’ convention in north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Mehbooba according to a party press release said that banning organisations like JeI and JKLF will have far-reaching consequences and such measures only increase the level of alienation and frustration among the people.

She said that PDP has a clear stand that ideas cannot be chained, banned or killed. “In democracy, ideas are allowed to flourish and not choked.  By taking such undemocratic, unconstitutional and unnatural measures, the government is trying to show its electorate how tough it is against the Muslims and against Jammu and Kashmir,” Mehbooba said.

She pledged that if PDP comes to power, it will make strenuous efforts to undo the BJP’s wrongs and revoke the ban imposed on JeI and JKLF.

She said it has been the prime agenda of the PDP that the muscular approach will not take the state anywhere as this has been tried for many decades and hasn’t yielded any positive outcome.

She said it is unfortunate that some people still believe in the efficacy of these methods and are trying to repeat the old mistakes which will be meaningless and prove counter-productive.

Hailing the decision of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to open Sharda Peeth for Hindu devotees, Mehbooba said that  such opportunities need to be grabbed at an earliest so that the dream of a peaceful South Asia is realised without any further delay.

She said that by opening of Sharda Peeth in Kashmir across the LoC, the Hindu devotees and pilgrims could go without hassle as it was a major centre of learning, at par with the ancient seats of learning at Nalanda and Taxila.

“The reality must dawn upon those at the helm that trigger-happy approach will not solve the Jammu and Kashmir problem. Confidence building measures, dialogue and reconciliation are the only ways that could protect the state from an apocalypse,” Mehbooba said.

The PDP president also cautioned that any fiddling with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir is fraught with dangerous consequences and has the tendency to turn the state into a theatre of war.

“PDP government in spite of being in coalition with the BJP didn’t allow the latter to fulfill its nefarious agenda in Kashmir and the government employed country’s best lawyers for the protection of Article 35-A in the Supreme Court.

“We strongly believe that the constitution of the country has enough space to accommodate aspirations of Jammu and Kashmir, but unfortunately the atmosphere is fouled by the attempts being made to fiddle with its special status and lot of mistrust has risen out of that,” Mehbooba said, adding that any such attempt made through the legal or administrative route will be unacceptable to the people of the state.

PDP leaders including party patron Muzaffar Hussain Beigh,  party’s candidate for Baramulla Lok Sabha seat Abdul Qayoom Wani, Dr Mehboob Beg, Mohammad  Dilawar Mir, Javed Beigh, Safina Beigh, Yawar Mir and Shabir Ahmad Mir were present on the occasion

Baig offers legal aid to JeI, JKLF against ban

Srinagar, Mar 26: PDP patron Muzaffar Hussain Baig Tuesday offered the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu Kashmir and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front legal help to contest the ban imposed on them by the Centre, saying while these outfits were ideologically opposed to his party, he would do it to uphold civil liberties.

"Although both Jamaat-e-Islami and JKLF are our opponents, we are ready to provide legal help to contest the ban imposed on them. It is a matter of principles and for upholding civil liberties," Baig said.

The senior leader made the offer of legal assistance to the two banned outfits while addressing a workers' meeting in Baramulla.

The Union Home Ministry last week banned the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), led by Muhammad Yasin Malik, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

As per a notification issued on March 22, the central government is "of the opinion that the said organisation is involved in anti-national and subversive activities and is in close touch with militant outfits and is supporting extremism in the state".

In an earlier notification issued in February, the Centre had banned the Jamaat, saying that the organisation was "in close touch with militant outfits" and that the group claimed "secession of a part of the Indian territory from the Union".

Both the outfits have been banned for five years.

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