Kashmir ruling party members resign fearing militant attacks
SRINAGAR: Activists of Held Kashmir’s ruling party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday announced their resignations from the party in a newspaper advert after four party officials were killed in the past week.
Nine of the PDP activists announced they were no longer members of the party in an advert on the front-page of the widely read Urdu daily newspaper, Al Safa. Two others had a similar advert on the inside pages.
“We have nothing to do with the PDP. Joining this party was a mistake,” one of the adverts said.
“I have never been associated with the PDP,” said Akbar Dar of the southern Kulgam area in the advert. “If I have committed any mistake, I should be forgiven,” he pleaded. In a similar notice Mohammad Shaban wrote: “I am a driver by profession and nothing to do with any political party.”
At the start of the insurgency in Held Kashmir in 1989, activists of pro-Indian groups also announced their resignations through local newspapers.
The pleas came after suspected rebels shot dead four PDP officials in the past week. They also tried to kill the second-in-chief of the party, Finance Minister Muzaffar Beigh. Beigh stepped down from the post of PDP president on Tuesday, saying he was too busy with his ministerial work.—AFP
Police officials said the apparent reason for the rebel attacks was retaliation for a 15,000-strong rally organised by the PDP in the summer capital Srinagar last month to welcome Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. It was the first such rally in 16 years.