Saturday December 16, 2017
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PDP-BJP alliance on the brink of an end?

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Mehbooba

Jammu and Kashmir: In an unlikely turn of events, it seems that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti finally decided to call off the PDP-BJP alliance and not claim power in Jammu and Kashmir.

Also, all this has been anticipated without any formal announcements made in this regard. Recent evidence supports the fact.

On Sunday, the Muftis observed the 40th-day mourning of late state chief minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. Mehbooba Mufti went with only members of her immediate family to the Dara Shikoh Park in south Kasmir Bijbehara town to offer ‘Fateha’ prayers at her father’s grave.

All senior leaders of the PDP were conspicuous by their absence during her visit to Bijbehara. Instead, senior leaders and former ministers went to offer ‘Fateha’ prayers at 11 a.m. while the Mufti family had already returned to their residence in Srinagar city.

Sources said Mehbooba Mufti has virtually been out of communication with party’s senior leaders recently.

When BJP state president, Sat Pal Sharma and former deputy chief minister, Nirmal Singh called on Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday in Srinagar, insiders said, she simply refused to be drawn into any discussion regarding government formation in the state.

“She has not been meeting senior colleagues of her party during the recent days. What is in her mind is anybody’s guess, but in all likelihood it appears she does not want to head the alliance government with the BJP who have so far failed to offer any assurances to her on the future arrangement between the two parties”, said a PDP source believed to be close to Mehbooba Mufti.

The source said most former ministers and legislators both from the PDP and the BJP are in favour of an early government formation in the state while Ms Mufti seems to be worried more about the future.

“She does not want to lose tomorrow for today. For many leaders in the party, it is a now or never situation. They might never get another chance to become ministers in the state, but she has a long political career ahead,” said another PDP insider.

He said she could not be pushed into taking a decision that would barter away the future of her party for power. “She seriously believes her father was given a raw deal. The promises made to people remained unfulfilled by that centre that did not move beyond words during Mufti Sahib’s tenure”, he added.

The same source said the BJP had not been disclosing its cards clearly after Sayeed’s death.

A BJP source said the party high command is in no hurry to succumb to what these sources call, ‘PDP brinkmanship’.

“We cannot be pushed into anything because an elected government is not in place in the state. Our assurances are already there and mutual trust between the two allies means the PDP must respect and believe our word”, the source said.

He also confirmed that state BJP leaders had been advised by the party high command not to make any speculative statements on government formation in the state.

“It will happen when it has to”, said a senior BJP leader declining to be named.

Given the gradual entrenching of the PDP and the BJP in their stated barriers, the moot point is, even if a government is formed by the two parties how viable and lasting would that be?

The measured silence by both the parties indicates the alliance could be over in Jammu & Kashmir before its divorce is formally announced. (IANS)

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‘Black Day’ Protests : Restrictions Imposed in Srinagar to keep security in check

Separatists leaders have asked people to observe October 27 as a “black day” in Kashmir.

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police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were seen disallowing pedestrian and vehicular movement in parts of Kashmir. (Representative image) VOA

Srinagar, October 27, 2017 : Authorities imposed restrictions in various areas on Friday to prevent separatist-called protests to mark the Accession Day of Jammu and Kashmir to India.

Joint resistance leadership (JRL) of separatist leaders — Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik — have asked people to observe October 27 as a “black day” in Kashmir.

It was on this day in 1947 that the Indian Army landed in Srinagar Airport following the accession of the state.

“Restrictions under section 144 of CrPC will remain in force in Nowhatta, M.R.Gunj, Safa Kadal, Rainawari, Khanyar, Kralkhud and Maisuma,” a police officer said.

Heavy contingents of the state police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were seen disallowing pedestrian and vehicular movement in these areas.

Railway services in the valley have also been suspended on Friday as a precautionary measure. (IANS)

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PM Modi Appoints New Envoy to Kashmir

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Kashmiri protesters
Kashmiri protesters run for cover as police use tear smoke to disperse protesters during a clash in Srinagar,Jammu and Kashmir. VOA

New Delhi, October 24: The center has appointed a new envoy to Kashmir in the hope of promoting peace in the troubled region.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh says former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma has been designated to open talks with Kashmir’s various factions – the first such appointment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“As a representative of the government of India, … Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” Singh said in New Delhi.

Kashmir has been the center of a deadly tug-of-war between India and neighboring Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. The Muslim-majority Himalayan territory is divided between the nuclear-armed rivals, but both claim Kashmir in full.

Kashmir rebels have battled Indian forces for decades, demanding either independence or a merger with Pakistan. The rebels have staged a series of attacks on Indian security bases in recent months, including an attack in southern Kashmir in August that left eight security officials dead.(VOA)

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Srinagar: Restrictions on Muharram Processions to Avoid Separatist Violence

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Restrictions imposed in Srinagar ahead of Muharram protests.
Restrictions imposed in Srinagar ahead of Muharram protests. ians

Srinagar, Sep 29: Authorities imposed restrictions on Muharram processions in parts of Srinagar on Friday, to prevent any violence in the valley. Starting from the Guru Bazar locality, the Shia procession would end at the Dalgate area.

After separatist violence started in Kashmir, authorities have not allowed the procession since 1990.

Police and paramilitary, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were deployed in the suspected areas to put restrictions on Muharram processions.The pedestrian and vehicular movement was also suspended.

Life in other areas of Srinagar and elsewhere in the Kashmir Valley, however, remained normal. (IANS)