The growing chasm between J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and his premier ally Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed has taken yet another turn for the worst with the latter offering to surrender his and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti's security cover.
The Mufti's move is a sequel to Azad's rebuff on the floor of the J&K Assembly on Monday that those demanding withdrawal of Army from Kashmir should first surrender their personal security.
In a letter to Azad, which was released to the media in New Delhi on Tuesday, Mufti reminded the CM about PDP's demand for "gradual reduction of forces, empowerment of the state police and withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act". This he felt would help in the restoration of peace and in improving the human rights situation.
Ostensibly expressing his displeasure on Azad raising the issue in the state Assembly, the Mufti said he had always thought that the issue of personal security was different from the general law and order. "In J&K's context this is nothing peculiar as the public personalities are protected everywhere in the country irrespective of all circumstances," he said.
Angered by Azad's retort, the Mufti further stated that surrendering personal security "by us" would earn your endorsement to the suggestions including withdrawal of forces.
"During the discussion in the Assembly on budget demands on Monday, you had stated that the leaders wanting a gradual reduction of security forces from the state should give you in writing to surrender their personal security. We believe that surrendering personal security by us would earn your endorsement to our suggestion," the former Home Minister said.