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Fall of Mehbooba government can douse Kashmir fire: Karra

The fall of the PDP-BJP government led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti can bring calm on the streets of the Kashmir Valley, says Tariq Karra, a prominent Kashmiri politician who resigned in anger from Parliament and from the regional party of which he was one of the founders.

Karra said the PDP-led government’s policies in Jammu and Kashmir have wiped out the middle ground that existed between separatism and pro-India ideology, rendering all mainstream politicians irrelevant in the restive state.

He said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was founded in 1998 to fill the gap where the people “were caught between the two extremes” of being either pro- or anti-India. “It played the role of the buffer between the two extremes. I had built this party brick by brick. But today, all mainstream politicians have been rendered irrelevant,” Karra, one of the closest aides of PDP founder, the late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, told IANS in a telephonic interview from Srinagar.

“And blame this unholy, unethical and unacceptable alliance between the PDP and BJP for that. The PDP betrayed the electorate because the votes were sought to keep the BJP out of power. This alliance laid the ground for the discontent and anger that you see on the streets of the Kashmir Valley today.”

Karra resigned from the party and quit his Lok Sabha seat on Thursday. Elected from Srinagar, he was the urban face of the PDP.

“The seeds were sown on that very particular day when the alliance was cobbled together. Later on, misgovernance and the irresponsible, egoistic and arrogant attitude of the people at the helm fuelled the anger. The Burhan Wani episode was only a trigger,” he said, referring to the July 8 killing of the Hizbul Mujahideen commander.

The militant’s death triggered an unprecedented and seemingly unending crisis in the Kashmir Valley that has resulted in nearly 90 deaths and over 12,000 injured in almost two-and-a-half months of unrest.

Karra said the “daily killings and unabated bloodshed” were like “an undeclared war against the Kashmiris by the government of India” and that it was being facilitated by the government of Jammu and Kashmir.

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