Srinagar: Ever since the Congress took over the Jammu and Kashmir government in November, its ally the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has maintained a very low profile.
PDP once again came into light after it published a spate of advertisements about its idea of self-rule. But it looks like this public contact initiative leaves a lot to be desired
The advertisement issued by the PDP was splashed across all the leading Jammu and Kashmir dailies last week. With the photos of three most known PDP faces, the advertisement advocated self-rule as the solution to the Kashmir dispute.
Says PDP MLA Ghulam Hasan Mir, "Guns are not the solution to problems. Dialogue is. People should sit together and discuss and since we are facilitating the dialogue, the solution will emerge through the evolutionary process. Self-rule should be nationally and politically discussed."
The advertisement highlights the following points:
* PDP would seek talks with state level organizations.
* Any proposal to bring India and Pakistan closer should be considered.
* Backing self-rule for Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh – something that President Musharraf has suggested.
* There is also a slogan of internal autonomy that aims at restoring the status of the state to what it was at the time of Sheikh Abdullah’s arrest in 1953.
The National Conference says that the advertisement is a cheap political gimmick, which says nothing constructive.
According to NC leaders, if the PDP is serious, then a resolution should be passed in the State Assembly.
The NC also thinks the PDP will soon disintegrate. Experts says the advertisement meant to initiate a public debate and clear PDP’s stand on self rule fails miserably in the initiative.
Interestingly this full-page advert has been signed by Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig and not by any PDP office functionary.
PDP’s coalition partner Congress has already trashed the self-rule idea.
(With inputs from Nandini Sircar)