We the undersigned believe that the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led PDP-Congress
coalition in J&K has revived the people's faith in democracy and peace in
all three regions of the State by effectively combating the politics of violence
and terror through a "healing touch policy".
Despite Mufti Sahib's readiness to step down as CM, in accordance with the power-sharing agreement made in 2002, India’s national interest would be best served by his continuance in office as Chief Minister so that he can consolidate the forces of peace, democracy and development that have been set in motion.
As a regional party, the PDP is better able to represent the aspirations of the Kashmiri people for autonomy and self-governance especially at a time when the peace process with Pakistan is on the move. It would be particularly inappropriate to bring about a change of leadership at a point when the State has still to recover from the tragedy and trauma caused by the recent earthquake. We therefore appeal to the Congress leadership to let Mufti continue undisturbed in the larger interests of India and the enlightened self-interest of the Congress itself, which would gain credibility by such an act of self-abnegation.
Ashis Nandy, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing
Dhirubhai Sheth, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
George Verghese, Centre for Policy Research
Jaiprakash Narayan, Loksatta
Air CommodoreJasjit Singh, Institute of Defence Studies
Madhu Purnima Kishwar, Manushi
Maja Daruwala, Human Rights Advocate
Moosa Raza, Former Chief Secretary, J&K
Pran Chopra, Former Editor, Statesman
Satish Kumar, Editor, National Security Review