Releasing political detainees would be first meaningful CBM: Zaffar Iqbal Manhas
SRINAGAR, September 15: Apni Party vice president Zaffar Iqbal Manhas on Tuesday stressed on Government of India (GoI) to adopt a more humane approach and make a serious effort to spell out some concrete Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to bring some respite to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement issued here, Manhas observed that to begin with the union government must go for release of all political detainees irrespective of their political affiliations including the former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
He said that unless democratic rights and the civil liberties are not restored, there will be no change in the level of alienation among the beleaguered people on the ground. Manhas said that some political activists especially the youth who are not habitual offenders are behind bars for the last many years and their families are bearing the brunt.
“There is a dire need to restore the lost trust among the people. And to commence with, it can be done if you address the sufferings of the families whose near and dear ones are languishing in jails on trivial reasons,” Manhas remarked, adding that the government of India must adopt a humane approach to deal with the present distressing situation in J&K.
Apni Party vice president also underlined the need to focus on several important demands of his party that need to be addressed at the highest level in the leadership of the country at an earliest. “We have already projected our demands including restoration of Statehood and comprehensive domicile rights to the government of India. Apni Party hopes that a call on these issues would be taken at an earliest,” Manhas reiterated.
He observed that the need of the hour is to address the sense of alienation before it becomes a permanent feature among the people in J&K. “There is no scope for further estrangement in J&K and the country’s leadership must ensure that people feel a sense of being ‘full citizens’ of the Indian state instead of being its ‘suspicious subjects’,” he opined.
Manhas said that there is a dismal educational scenario as compared to the rest of the country because of the ripple effect of last year’s political developments coupled with the illogical ban on 4G internet services.
Not only the students, he said, but the youth working in the private sector across the country are unable to work from home because of the unjustifiable ban on high speed internet services. Manhas said that some officers in J&K administration who seem to be victims of ego and false pride are playing a cruel joke with the people of J&K by unnecessarily delaying restoration of 4G internet services despite Hon’ble Supreme Court’s clear cut directions in this regard.
“Our students are expected to sit in the competitive exams with their counterparts from the rest of the country who have not only 4G available on their phones but also other broadband services available to them. Still our students like Naveed-ul-Amin and Aryan Gupta have proven their mettle by topping the JEE exams. This should act as an eye opener for the government of India which has so far failed to channelize the potential of our youth,” he added.
On banning the passenger vehicular traffic on Mughal and Sinthan roads, Manhas said that it is absolutely inhuman not to allow the locals to use their historic alternate routes to reach their summer capital. “You cannot put the whole population under siege just for trivial reasons. The lockdown has been eased out across the country and there is no justification to ban on the passenger traffic on these roads which are short distance and viable alternative routes to the dilapidated Srinagar-Jammu national highway,” he added.