Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s threat that a Taliban like uprising would take place in J&K if statehood and autonomy are not restored is truly surrealistic coming from a woman politician. Is she even aware on whose shoulders she is firing her gun? Has she no concern for what she is proposing for the daughters of Kashmir, who as it is face difficulties in breaking the shackles of orthodoxy? Does she really believe that this ‘threat’ or ‘warning’ will have an impact on decision makers in Delhi? Quite obviously she was pandering to the basest instincts of her audience in South Kashmir, traditionally the ‘stronghold’ of her party. This is yet another incident that reveals the levels to which politicians will descend to regain or retain power.
This incident also reflects the tragic disconnect amongst many supposedly ‘secular’ politicians between narrative and reality. Nobody in their right mind would justify in any way the past record of the Taliban, or put their trust in the promises for the future. If they were willing to allow women an equal role in society, why did they fight the existing dispensation in Afghanistan? They have already made clear that there will be no democracy and women will be treated according to their interpretation of the Sharia. The former CM should actually become an active part in the fight for women’s rights in Afghanistan, which would provide her demands greater credibility. The present attitude of her kind is just that of sucking up to what is presently believed to be the winning side. This also indicates a lack of strategic understanding regarding the turn of events. The decision of the US to withdraw from Afghanistan is perfectly justified – it should have been done much earlier. It is their unplanned manner of leaving that has caused suffering, for which the blame falls squarely on US President Biden’s incompetence. The Taliban, as has already been pointed out by experts, is backed by many forces, each of which has its own strategic interests. These will soon be in conflict with each other to monopolise control. It is dangerous if Indian politicians are unaware of these factors and believe, instead, that it is some noble revolutionary movement. Mehbooba Mufti should know that the Taliban types will not come to reinstate her on the CM’s chair – she would probably be among the first to fly out of Srinagar Airport if they ever land up in some parallel universe scenario. Even silliness must have its limits.