Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Thursday said the decisions like ban on mobile phone facility have not only serious socio-economic implications, but amount to an assault on the dignity and self respect of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
Addressing a public meeting at Handwara in Kupwara district, Mufti said shutting off pre- paid mobile facility to the state reflects a mindset that his party is struggling to change.
"The arbitrary decision should be reversed immediately as it tarnishes our image and projects the entire people of the state as unworthy of trust and some kind of a security threat which only strengthens the stereotypes about them.
"No wonder our youth, whether players, students or traders become victims of suspicion and high-handedness in different parts of the country when the government itself expresses doubts about our credentials as a people", he said.
Mufti said such profiling of Kashmiris has had disastrous consequences in the past as it resulted in the huge trust deficit between us and rest of the country.
He said the direct impact of the decision in terms of loss of employment opportunities was considerable, it was the psychological and political aspect of it which could claim a heavier toll. "Banning 38 lakh connections to prevent misuse by a possible few hundred people was an index of the lack of trust by the establishment in the citizens of the state as a whole and its belief that every thing is fair in Kashmir. This is no way to win the battle of minds".
Mufti said India was a vibrant democracy but its credibility was at stake in Kashmir. Unless the Kashmir issue is resolved to the satisfaction of its people and the festering sore over it healed the great Indian democratic project will remain incomplete and will lack substance, he said while underlining the need for reopening dialogue with Pakistan as well.