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news details
PUF may upset applecart of Abdullahs
6/20/2019 12:15:04 AM
Early Times Report
Jammu, June 19: Another front in Kashmir against the NC, the Congress, the PDP, and even the existing 17-year-old People's Democratic Front (PDF). It was formed on Tuesday in Srinagar by the Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) chief Sheikh Abdul Rasheed and former bureaucrat and Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM) president Shah Faesal. They maintained their separate identities but announced formation of what they called a credible alternative to parties like the NC, the Congress and the PDP. They named it Peoples United Front (PDF).
Of course, Rasheed and Faisal sought to create an impression that their PUF would be a state-level front representing the aspirations of the people of all the three regions - Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh --, but their agenda of alliance left none in any doubt that the agenda of the new front would be no different from the ones being pursued by the NC since 1947, by the Congress since 1975, by the PDP since 1999 and by the PDF since 2002.
The PUF didn't use phrases such as autonomy, self-rule or Indo-Pak joint control; it simply said: "The new front will pursue and facilitate peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue; support all confidence building measures between India and Pakistan, protect the special status and constitutional guarantees, protect cultural diversity, ethnic and demographic uniqueness of the state legislature with respect to political representation and delimitation of the assembly constituencies". This precisely has been the agenda of all other Kashmir-based political outfits, including the Kashmir's oldest party, the NC.
What did Rasheed and Faisal say while announcing the formation of the PUF? They, inter-alia, said: "The two parties decided to forge pre-poll alliance owing to the prevailing situation and political uncertainty in the state. There are assaults on the special position of the state and there is a lack of credible political alternative. There is no political force that can give good governance and fill the political vacuum".
It's clear from what they said and from their agenda of alliance that the PUF will be no different from those of the NC, the PDP, the Congress and the PDF. It's also clear that the PUF will only hurt the electoral prospects of these four Kashmir-based outfits.
That the formation of the new front in Kashmir will not go well with the parties like the NC and the PDP could be seen from the fact that Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti had on occasions more than one condemned the efforts in Kashmir on the part of Kashmiris to float new parties. In fact, they had said that the formation of new parties in Kashmir was the handiwork of intelligence agencies who wanted to divide Kashmiri vote.
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