Kashmir Unrest Was ‘Pre-Planned’, Only Handful Involved, Says Mehbooba Mufti

JAMMU: Contending that the unrest in Kashmir was “pre-planned”, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said a “handful of people” were deliberately keeping the Valley on the boil while 95 per cent people were peace-loving and should not be punished for the fault of 5 per cent.

She expressed pain that children are being used as a shield by “vested interests” while attacking camps and posts of security forces to incite them, as a result of which innocent kids become a casualty.

Ms Mufti also sent out a message to those raising “pro-azadi” slogans, asking them to see the condition of Muslims in Islamic countries like Pakistan, Syria, Turkey and Afghanistan even though these nations have “freedom”. She said once gun makes inroads in a society, then the meaning of ‘azadi’ is lost.

“I have been saying that gun will not solve anything. Stones also will not solve anything,” she said at a public meeting here, while underlining that anybody having any grievance should come forward to discuss it through talks.

Contending that she had planned so many developmental programmes to be pushed after Eid, she said the unrest was “pre-planned” as “vested interests” were keen to latch on to something to trigger unrest.

“I don’t understand what happened… people were waiting for a chance. Whenever the situation becomes little better in J&K, tourism starts, work begins, something or the other happens which creates problems in normal functioning,” Ms Mufti said.

“After the Assembly (session) was over, we had decided to work more. But after (her) Assembly (election) result and Eid, all this began,” she said.

Referring to the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in a gunfight, the Chief Minister said, “there was nothing new in this. Killing of militants has been happening for the past 25 years. I want to tell you this because all this was pre-planned. They were waiting for a reason, a chance to put the state back into that fire in which it was always.”

She said, “they (those indulging in violence) are only a handful of people. Most Kashmiris want peace. They understand that the kind of freedom Kashmir is enjoying today is not there even in Islamic countries like Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey and Pakistanis. When gun enters a country, it is no more free, no matter how much it claims to be free.”