Wednesday, Mar 27, 2002
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By Shujaat Bukhari
SRINAGAR, MARCH 26. Deeply anguished over the Bharatiya Janata Party's role in the Ayodhya issue, its stand on the Gujarat violence and Vinay Katiyar's statement on the holy relic at Hazratbal, the party's only known face in the Muslim majority Kashmir, Abdur Rasheed Kabuli, has written a letter to the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, saying that his belief and trust in the BJP's policies have collapsed under the harsh realities.
In a two-page letter to Mr. Vajpayee, Mr. Kabuli, who is the vice-president of the State BJP unit, said, "When I joined your party, I went against the popular tide of opinion in Kashmir and also apparently in deviation of my own political ethos and background''. The image of your party, particularly among Muslims, had made my decision rather a difficult one. But "I was guided at that point of time by the moral certainty about the genuineness and truthfulness of the policy statements made by you, that your party stood for the doctrine of genuine secularism,'' he said.
"You had also claimed that you would address the Kashmir issue and find a peaceful solution so that the people of the State are relieved of the pain and misery from which they have suffered for long. I believed in all these declarations of your intent and consequently had joined your party even though my friends and well-wishers had questioned my judgment and prudence. I remained unshaken in my belief that under your leadership the country would move from darkness to light and from hatred to compassion.''
"Failure of steps like the Lahore bus yatra, the Agra summit and the Kashmir ceasefire is largely because of the machinations of the Sangh Parivar," Mr. Kabuli, a former Member of Parliament, said. "Unfortunately, my belief and edifice of trust in your party's declaration and policies collapsed under the relentless burden of the harsh realities that successively unfolded on the political landscape of the country in the recent past. The equivocation of your party's stand on Ayodhya, the Attorney-General's statement before the Supreme Court, the biased treacherous and politically cynical role of your party's Government in Gujarat came as a rude shock to me. On the top of it, the BJP MP, Vinay Katiyar's statement has deeply stirred my soul as a Kashmiri and Muslim and caused extreme revulsion in me. Instead of reprimanding him for his preposterous claim, you have chosen to exonerate him."
Mr. Kabuli asked the Prime Minister, "how your party's claim that it will genuinely engage and involve Muslims in the power structure of the country would reconcile with the fact that in the recently-held elections in Uttar Pradesh, it did not give any representation to Muslims? "I have no answer for those questions which people in Jammu and Kashmir ask me these days. I wonder if you have any,'' he concluded.
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