Letter to the Editor

The Kashmir Times, July 22, 2005, by K.N.Pandita – Sir, This refers to the write-up ‘Azad or Soz (KT 22 July). Muftri Saeed will hand over to the Congress cnadidate after completing the period of agreed tenure.
Keeping in mind the fundamentals of a democracy, Mufti Sahib was right in asserting that a Muslim and from the valley should become the Chief Mibnister. Mr.Azad and Prof. Soz are the two potent candidates for the position of chief minister.

This is not to weight the positive and negative ponts in their character. Both are leaders of known integrity and credibility. In deciding who between the two should be the Chief Ministe, the interests of the state and of the nation as a whole have to be kept in mind. Mr. Azad is already in harness. He is a compoennt of core thinking group on Kashmir issue in particular. By displacing him at this juncture, when Kashmir solution is seriously discussed at various national, regional and international levels and Indo-Pak relations are set to tilt towards normalcy, the nation will be somewhat deprived of his wise counsel. Much home work has gone into its making. Mr.Azad is closely invovled in that exercise. As such it would be advisable to let him continue where he is and induct Prof. Soz for the implementation of decisions and plans. Prof. Soz hails from Baramulla, a district which never had the good fortune of fielding a Chief Minister while the districts of Srinagar and Ananatnag had in the past.

Prof Soz has overcome anger, hate and exclusiveness. In a climate where cool statesmanship is of immense necessity, there is no better choice than Prof, Soz. He has cordial relations with most of the party stalwarts in the country and has endeared himself to people of all identities. His persuasive nature disarms his dissidents and his sauve approach makes a mark nobody can overlook. In personal views, he, as a liberal, is much above party politics and mundane perceptions. Apart from the component of politics, Prof. Soz is gifted with intellectual and academic capabilities as well being a good writer and speaker.These qualities endear him to one and all. He knows no crudity and incivil words and as a former union minister has left an impeccable record of honesty and fair play.

Kashmir requires a chief minister with all these positive qualities. His selection would be a healthy message to the youth of the State with whom he has identified himself since a long time.

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