MUFTI’s Vision of Kashmir

Hope he does what he is expected to do!

The task ahead of Mufti Muhammad Saeed as head of the coalition will never be so smooth as in his own words he said that ‘he will be heading an alliance of north and south pole of Kashmir politics’. Hopefully, brushing all political speculations aside, in coming days Mufti Muhammad Saeed, braving all odds and controversies will prove his worth as shrewd politician and an able administrator.

Of all the statements Mufti Muhammad Saeed made prior to government formation and just after swearing-in (several of which were absolutely controversial in quality and content) the most fascinating and impressive was an interview with Sagarika Ghose (Times of India February 19, 2015). At the end of the interview in reply to a question regarding his vision for Kashmir Mufti Muhammad Saeed brought in the doctrine of coexistence of Mughal prince Dara Shikoh and also mentioned significance of historic Mughal garden laid by Dara Shikoh in Mufti Muhammad Saeed’s home town of Bijbehara in his political ideology. Only time will prove and historians will judge Mufti Muhammad Saeed’s choice of reconciliation and whether his decisions of coexistence regarding Kashmir politics was right or wrong? But at this juncture making a way to address the rotting administrative system, unending corruption, and a long rope of nepotism out of a political cauldron laden with confusion and antagonism speaks a lot about the political wisdom of a man who otherwise two decades back was dismissed as an unworthy and spent political entity.

Mufti Muhammad Saeed’s theory of reconciliation through the bridge of coexistence can be a fascinating agenda with good intentions, yet his mandate is much wider than political reconciliation. His theory of creating a platform for resolving the festering sore of ‘ Kashmir conflict’ and a long term peace process in the sub-continent cannot be wished away at this crucial juncture, that too, when even the most prominent stakeholder of Kashmir issue—Pakistan is in favour of an honorable settlement acceptable to all. But good and honest governance, aspirations of common man regarding justice and equality; economic uplifting, cultural identity and above all a humane touch are the issues that require immediate attention. Corruption and nepotism have ruined the whole socio-political and socio-economic system within our society and at present only the corrupt and the bragging nepots are the most respected lot. Gone are the days when honesty and values were the only virtue to judge the stature of a fellow in the society!

Mufti Muhammad Saeed being one among us with a humble background and not born with a silver spoon in his mouth knows the plight of a common-man—an exploited Kashmir whose yearning for good governance has always been silenced by false promises or coercion. Governments have come and gone but the plight of ‘Aam Admi’ never changed and the present alliance will get acceptance (irrespective of some political ramifications implied in this union) within the masses only when they find a positive change in the governance. All the governments in past were unable to break the much talked and ridiculed nexus of some deceitful elements within the administration, self-styled elites in the society and few political opportunists. This oligarchy of opportunists and exploiters made the whole Kashmiri nation to suffer just for their petty gains. These elements of deceit have dug themselves so deep and well that even a powerful government with a highly motivated leadership has to put in extra efforts and power to contain them.

No doubt Mufti Muhammad Saeed proved his worth earlier during his tenure as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir from November 2002 to November 2005, but this time round he has to put all his energy and political wisdom in use to provide an honest, impartial and sincere system of governance. He has to isolate the sycophants within the administration, society and the polity and cull them out to initiate a larger move for better governance. Otherwise his dream of peace in the sub-continent through coexistence will die a silent death because there will be no takers (empowered Kashmiris) around.