Former chief minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to refocus on the state to resume forward movement on its resolution and restoration of trust.
Mufti, who called on the Prime Minister in New Delhi on Thursday, in an hour-long meeting discussed a wide range of subjects to review the situation in the state and developments in the region that could have a bearing on it.
The meeting was called by Singh after Mufti wrote to him in the aftermath of the hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru.
In a statement issued here, the party said Mufti apprised Manmohan Singh of the highly negative fallout of the hanging of Afzal and the insensitive manner in which he was sent to gallows without even letting his family have a mandatory last meeting with him.
He told Singh how the entire issue had adversely impacted people and added to the trust deficit between Kashmir and rest of the country that had very painstakingly been reduced to some extent after 2002.
Impressing upon the Prime Minister to prevent the “erosion of democratic institutions in the state,” Mufti told him how the rejection of the demand for return of Afzal Guru's mortal remains while the state assembly was still discussing it, came as a serious setback to its credibility.
Former union minister told the Prime Minister that if democratic institutions like the assembly continued to face such trivialization, any forward movement in restoring people's confidence in them would become impossible.
The statement further stated that he stressed on keeping the electoral process in the state not only clean but unbiased as well.
He told Singh that while Atal Behari Vajpayee had ensured that his commitment to hold free and fair elections in 2002 was fulfilled, the same could unfortunately not be said about the 2008 elections when manipulations in many constituencies affected the results and clouded the credibility of electoral process once again.
PDP patron urged the Prime Minister to ensure free and fair elections whenever these are held as a primary requisite for taking forward the peace process as restoration of faith in democratic institutions was essential for any initiatives on internal front to succeed.
Mufti told the Prime Minister it was important to ensure a full-fledged multi-tier democratic system in place in the state from the village to state level to empower people in shaping their destinies.
“Unfortunately that was not happening in absence of the empowerment of these institutions,” he told the Prime Minister.