Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti Sunday accused the Centre of turning Kashmir into the ‘notorious’ American military prison, Guantanamo, ahead of the G20 meeting from May 22-24.
“To tell you the truth, if you visit Kashmir today you will see that the place which was converted to an open-air prison (following the abrogation of Article 370) has been converted to ‘Guantanamo’… Even houses have been taken over. Homes have been taken over. There is three-, four-, five-tier security… Everything at homes is being turned upside down,” the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader said at a news conference in Bengaluru Sunday.
The G20 meeting might give some kind of publicity for the BJP, but a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting can help address the problems of the region, she said. “Why not have a SAARC summit and address the problems we (the people of Kashmir) have?” Mufti questioned.
On China opposing the G20 meeting in Kashmir, Mufti said that it was a consequence of abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution. “The BJP said that the abrogation of Article 370 would solve all problems. Now, even China is putting its foot here in a bad manner. They are talking about the Kashmir dispute which only Pakistan used to talk about earlier. It goes to the credit of the BJP for bringing China into the problem,” she said.
On the ordinance issued by the Centre which overturned the Supreme Court verdict that had empowered the Delhi government, Mufti said that the developments should be a wake-up call for everybody. “2019 (Abrogation of Article 370) should have been a wake-up call. Unfortunately, it was not. But what happened yesterday (in Delhi) should be a wake-up call for everybody,” she said, adding that the BJP was not going to spare any Opposition government if they failed to hijack it.
The BJP, she alleged, was buying MLAs or threatening them. “Wherever the BJP cannot do that, they have found a different way of disempowering them. This is going to happen to everybody… I hope everybody wakes up and smells the coffee. Because, what happened with J&K, slowly and steadily is going around the whole country. It is going to increase its pace once elections approach,” the former J&K CM said.
Mufti, who was among the leaders who took part in the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, said that she had spoken to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. “I invited him to pay some attention to J&K – the soul of Indian nationhood. If they (BJP) have dismantled J&K, they have started dismantling the idea of India… That is where the repair and healing process should start,” she said.