We the undersigned join in endorsing the appeal by a group of concerned citizens that Congress leadership should let Mufti continue undisturbed in the larger interests of India and the enlightened self-interest of the Congress. His " healing touch" policy has proved an effective instrument for restoring people’s faith in democracy and has played an important role in mobilising the forces of democracy in Kashmir.
The power-sharing agreement of 2002 requires that Mufti give way to a Congress Chief Minister after three years. However, this is an extraordinary situation requiring an extraordinary response from the Congress leadership. Given Kashmir’s volatile history, a regional Party like the PDP is better equipped to represent the aspirations of the Kashmiri people for autonomy and self-governance.
The fate of secularism and democracy in India is intimately tied up with dexterous handling of the Kashmir issue. Mufti has demonstrated his ability to do so by facilitating the process of reconciliation and bridging various regional and ethnic divides. Therefore, 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.
However, his continuance as Chief Minister should not be limited to tiding over the crisis due to the recent earthquake because such a short-term arrangement will not only hamper efficient relief operations but also create an atmosphere of instability in the State, which will have a negative impact on the fragile peace process with Pakistan.
Amit Bhaduri, Professor, Council for Social Development.
Ashok Juhunjhunwala, IIT, Chennai
Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Director, Centre for Policy Research.
Kapil Kapur, Professor, JNU
J.P.Das. IAS ( Retd )and Known Oriya writer
Geeta Luthra, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court
Harsh Mander, Aman Biradari
Vijaysheel Kumar, Neurosurgeon, Apollo Hospital
Rajeev Bhargava, Senior Fellow, CSDS
Ram Jethmalani, Former Law Minister
O.P. Shah, Centre for Peace and Democracy
Ira Pande, Writer
Flavia Agnes, Majlis, Mumbai
Madhu Bhaduri, IFS (retd.)
Imtiaz Ahmed, Prof. JNU
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