Mufti calls India ‘banana republic’

Jammu, Feb 11: After Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah questioned the wisdom of executing parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the main opposition People’s Democratic Party in the state called India a “banana republic”.

Former chief minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who is locked in competitive politics with the National Conference and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Monday evening issued a statement, accusing the central government of a “narrow-minded approach (that) has caused serious setbacks to the peace process”.

His statement reflected complete support for Afzal Guru, matching the sentiments that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed Sunday, a day after the execution, in interviews to TV channels.

Mufti said: “It is no good to regret the inability of the government to deny Afzal’s family a last mandatory meeting with him or deny his body to the family.”

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said: “This reduces Mahatama Gandhi’s country, the world’s largest democracy and a genuine candidate for super power status, to a banana republic.”

Mufti was home minister of the country in the shortlived V.P. Singh government from 1989-1990.

Mufti urged the central government to “roll back the draconian measures in Kashmir, which have caused a whole population to be imprisoned”.

He blamed Delhi for what has been happening in the Valley, claiming that law and order is a state subject and measures like curfew have been taken by Omar Abdullah.

IANS