Baig Resigns, Then Relents, Mufti’s heave ‘Sigh of Relief ’ PDF Print E-mail
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altJehlum Post News Network/Jammu/Feb 02, 2015/Under fire for his remark on rehabilitation of West Pakistani refugees in Jammu and Kashmir, senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig has offered to resign from Parliament. The PDP MP from Baramulla Sunday submitted his resignation letter to party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and said that he could forward it to Lok Sabha Speaker if he suspected his intentions. "I have submitted a written communication to Mufti Sahib requesting him to forward my letter of resignation from Parliament to Lok Sabha Speaker if my intentions are ever suspected," Baig said in a statement. "Apropos a statement of mine which appeared in an English newspaper today regarding the possibility of finding a middle path solution to the problem of settlement of Pakistani

refugees, I received a call from a very responsible person today asking me the meaning and purpose of expressing my views at this critical juncture," he added. Baig said,"I was told that National Conference and JKLF will take an undue advantage of my statement and may probably launch an agitation against the proposed alliance between PDP and BJP." The senior PDP leader said he did not specify the parameters of the solution but only indicated the guidelines for the same. "According to me, this is a humanitarian problem and not a political problem. The refugees are already settled here and they have a right to vote for Parliament," he said. "The issue is whether they can be granted the status of permanent residents of the state. I indicated that this can be done only if the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir permits it." According to the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, a total of 1.50 lakhs refugees from West Pakistan are currently residing in the territory.

When asked to comment on Baig submitting his resignation, PDP spokesman Naeem Akhthar said, "please ask him. He alone can confirm it, not me." With regard to the PDP-BJP alliance, Baig said he had publicly stated that it will "remain stable only if there is good faith agreement on political issues of the state contained in the CMP (common minimum programme). He also went on to suggest that if the two parties cannot come to an agreement on fundamental issues which includes resolving Kashmir issue in a "democratic and Constitutional manner", they should not form the government and go for fresh polls. "If PDP and BJP cannot agree on fundamental issues, then it is better to sit in the opposition or go back to the people rather than enter into a mere power sharing agreement, which will be seen by people and judged by history as an act of opportunism," he said. Being at the forefront of negotiations with BJP after the results were announced on December 23, Baig was snubbed after the PDP announced that only Naeem Akthar was authorised spokesperson for the party and his statement.

In a veiled attack on party colleague Haseeb Drabu, who has been negotiating with BJP on government formation, he advised "...PDP should resist any request or pressure from any quarter, including the winners of the previous election, to form Government in any case." Soon after the results for 87-member Legislative assembly threw up a hung assembly on December 23, Baig had said the BJP was not "untouchable" and suggested that the PDP should consider an alliance with the national party for government formation. He was in constant touch with BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav immediately after the elections. However, today the Lok Sabha member from Baramulla feels that the alliance between the PDP and the BJP should be out of conviction and not compulsion. 'Mufti Sahab and Mehbooba Ji, who are the only two decision makers in the party, should forge such an alliance only out of conviction and not out of compulsion. "If they are convinced that such an alliance will be in the interests of the State, politically and economically, they should go ahead," Baig said. Emphasising the need to resolve the Kashmir issue, the PDP leader said "the political issues would necessarily involve an agreement on the process to resolve Kashmir issue in a democratic and constitutional manner through the process of dialogue." "I have publicly stated that, in my view, PDP-BJP alliance will remain stable only if there is good faith agreement on political issues of the state contained in the common minimum programme," he said. "I have stated, at-least three times, that if Mufti Sahab and Mehbooba Ji are convinced that alliance with any other party, including congress, would be more beneficial to the State, they should be free to exercise that option," he added. The PDP and the BJP -- with 28 and 25 MLAs respectively -- are engaged in back channel talks for government formation with sources in the two parties hinting that the political deadlock in the state might end within the next week. The two parties have diametrically opposite stands on issues like settlement of West Pakistan Refugees in the state, repealing of Article 370 of the Constitution and revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act. PDP leadership should not underestimate the possibility that the opponents of PDP and the separatist elements might create trouble whenever they get an opportunity, he said and added "God and History will judge all of us by our deeds and not just by our words." Agency

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