The party has talked about separatism to be addressed through dialogue and reconciliation, but it has not talked about the ambit. It is a known fact that the PDP has always been accused of being soft on separatism and with its utterance regarding the same in its newsletter, it has once again been proven that the accusation was not just an accusation, rather, facts go in support of that. What needs to be understood here is that there is no room for separatism in J&K now, and if there are any traces of it, then, the same has to be well within the Constitution of India, because what has been termed as an “ideology that cannot be confiscated or jailed,” must not pose threat to the integrity and sovereignty of the country. If it does, then it can only be jailed and confiscated.
It is interesting to note that the party, when it came to being, positioned itself in a way that it seemed to be the saviour of the people of J&K, especially Kashmir—cashed on the sentiments of people and rose to power. In the lust for power—largely due to the short-sighted ideology—and to remain relevant, PDP is once again doing everything to put itself at the back of what has brought destruction to this place. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it is Mehbooba Mufti as well as his party which is responsible for the present situation in J&K. They cannot run away from that and neither can they be allowed to propagate false narratives just to score political points and keep themselves alive as they continue to feel the choking. What she is propagating has always brought death and violence to this place, apart from making the lives of Muslims vulnerable in every aspect.
Indeed, everyone has a right to free speech, but that needs to be exercised with caution because there is a fine line between the sides involving free speech—one time the free speech could be giving way to thoughts, next time, out of nowhere, it could be promoting hate speech. At the same time, speaking up must be continued even in tricky matters, where the party would otherwise prefer to stay silent for the political interests: it can’t get to choose at all. The party can talk about the welfare of the people but must refrain from peddling false narratives. It needs to understand that separatism—in its old shape and form—is long gone.