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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  October 2, 2019 4:30am-5:01am BST

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this is bbc news, the headlines: there's anger among activists in hong kong after police fired live ammunition at protesers for the first time since unrest broke out in the territory four months ago. an 18—year—old who was shot in the chest is in a stable condition. his fellow students are staging a sit—in at his school. north korea may have fired a ballistic missile from a submarine according to officials in the south. was launched in and flew a50 kilometres before landing on the sea of japan. the japanese prime minister said there were two missiles. it has beenjust this is the briefing — minister said there were two missiles. it has been just hours since the north said they were i'm susannah streeter. resuming talks with the us. the our top story: borisjohnson‘s to reveal his plans duchess of sussex has begun legal to seal a brexit deal but warns it action against the newspaper after will involve customs checks claiming it unlawfully published one of her private letters to prince on the island of ireland. harry is referred to the relentless anger in hong kong after police propaganda against his wife and he shoot a protester with live is not prepared to see her ammunition for the first time — victimised by the press as his
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mother was. students show their solidarity. the 18—year—old's in a stable condition, the situation here is tense, now on bbc news, it's hardtalk after a rapid escalation to the unrest. with stephen sackur. pompeo pushes back. the us secretary of state refuses welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen to help the impeachment inquiry into president trump despite democrats warning it's illegal. india's plastic crackdown. thacker. —— sackur. it has been two months since india revoked the special autonomous status ofjammu and kashmir, and delhi still has the territory in a form of lockdown. political leaders are detained, troops are on the streets and communication links are disrupted. the modi government seems confident its dramatic cancellation of a 70—year—old dispensation has worked, but what of kashmiri feeling? my guest is iltija mufti, the daughter of former chief minister of kashmir, mehbooba mufti who is currently in detention. do the kashmiris have any choice but to accept their new reality?
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iltija mufti in delhi, welcome to hardtalk. thank you for having me. let me begin with your personal situation. you are speaking to me from the indian capital, delhi, not from your home in kashmir. does that suggest that you personally are free right now to travel, to communicate, to do whatever you want? not in a real sense, no. i received veiled threats from the indian government that if i continue speaking
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they will slap what is known as a psa, a public safety act, a draconian law on my mother and we will not be allowed to challenge her detention for at least two years. she could possibly spend over two months up to two years in jail and i have received indirect threats that if i keep speaking i could be booked as well. so i don't think i am completely free at the moment. we should pursue that because i am mindful that a few weeks ago we spoke to another kashmiri politician and hours after he spoke to us, he was arrested at delhi airport and was then taken to kashmir and is still in detention. do you believe the same may happen to you? i think it is too late for that to happen. i feel that i have expressed it so many times on a public platform. i also spoke to the guardian a month
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ago expressing apprehension that they could arrest me or they could just round me up like thousands of people, thousands of kashmiris have been jailed. but they have been quite unpredictable and i think there has been a method to the madness. i don't know what to expect from them. their behaviour has been unpredictable. it is hard to see if something will happen to me but i don't think if i am doing anything wrong, i am just asking for our rights for the last two months, our constitutional rights, our civil liberties have been relegated to the dustbin. if i am saying something wrong, i am asking for the government to restore the rights of kashmiris. over the last two months they have been caged like animals and treated like subhumans and i think this is a subversion of democratic norms and it is not befitting for the world's largest democracy. let's deal with some of your charges, one by one.
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you say that kashmiris are caged like animals and that is not and that is an inflammatory phrase to use. let's start with your own mother. she was chief minister of the state of jammu and kashmir, 2016—2018. she has been outspoken since the august five revocation of article 370, the ending of special autonomous status, and very soon after that she was detained, as i understand she is currently still being held in a government statehouse in kashmir. so you tell me, you have been able to visit her, what is her current situation? firstly, i want to bring to your notice that i was not allowed to visit her for about a month. she was taken on the fifth and i only got to see her on the 29th,
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four weeks later. and i could only see her after the supreme court passed a clear order saying that the government of india could not restrict me from seeing my mother. she is a strong person. she has a lot of inner strength. at this time i would say she is quite distressed about the situation and she has heard about how thousands of minor children have been detained and taken from their beds in the middle of the night and that this has been done by paramilitary forces, by the army. and reports have emerged where children as young as nine and ten have been taken and tortured. she is worried about the situation, and the problem is they are trying to smother all kashmiri voices. they want to make sure that no voice can tell the rest of the world about the kind of repression the kashmiris are being subjected to. of course, there is a danger of exaggeration and false information also being spread and when you and your mother, i understand you currently are running her twitter feed, correct me if i am wrong. iam. so when you perpetuate these charges that the indian state has arrested, as you say, thousands of children and is, in your view,
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torturing some of them. what evidence do you have? those are serious allegations and the indian government has rejected them categorically. bbc, new york times, washington post, their correspondents and yours have gone into the heart of the city and have documented these charges. reuters news agency, three weeks ago totted up the numbers of people that they could find from official accounts having been arrested. this is from official accounts. they found evidence for over 3800 people having been arrested and they believe more than 2000 of those have since been released. so i am just wondering, when you accuse the indians
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of rounding up thousands and thousands of children, whether that really matches reality. the truth is that we have a government that has a brute majority and an agenda. they are not even concealing that at the moment. they are clear about it and they have lied about everything about this operation right from the start. people were initially told that nothing of this sort would happen and that the reason why they deployed so much army in kashmir was because they were anticipating an attack from pakistan that obviously never happened. i have to make it clear that when i met my mother she requested me to write an e—mail to the government of india, requesting clarity on the detention of these minor children and it has been over two weeks since i wrote that e—mail and there has been absolute pin drop silence and i want to know why is there such a pin drop silence? what is the government trying to hide?
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the government of india has been very persistent and what they have done is established an iron curtain between kashmir and the rest of the country and the world so there is no way to depend on their word. whatever they are saying is lies. they even said that i was not placed under detention when the fact of the matter is that i was illegally detained and my house was pretty much a prison for about three weeks and it was only after i wrote a public and open letter to the home minister of india that they decided to let me travel. but iltija mufti, isn't that the point? you were, it seems, under house arrest but ultimately that control on you was lifted. you are here speaking to me openly from delhi and the truth is that if one looks at what the home minister has been saying from delhi recently he says that the prohibitory orders have been lifted from the vast majority of police stations in kashmir. 0nly nine police station areas continue to have repressive orders
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where large gatherings are banned. he said that bloodshed has been kept to a minimum and that does seem true, that very few lives have been lost despite the number of limited clashes there have been. and he also says that landlines have been restored in the kashmir valley and the people's movements are no longer restricted. so deal with that. to me it seems from him that the situation is evolving and that some of the controls are easing. would you agree? you put in a lot of information in that question and i need to take it part by part. firstly you said that i am out and free but i am able to understand, stephen, that i come from a political family and the fact that i am out is not by mere accident. i am out because i had to fight for my freedom and the media takes an interest in speaking to me
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because i am a former chief minister's daughter. but other people who have been detained, who have been illegally detained, there is no way for them to come out and articulate the torture and the indignation that they have been subjected to. you cited a few examples of, you know, the home minister's statements. let me tell you he initially said that farouk abdullah, the former chief minister ofjammu in kashmir was not under detention and ten days ago the authorities slapped a psa on him because his detention was challenged. like i said, you have a rogue government that is fudging the facts and trying to obfuscate the truth, they want to hide the truth, they're trying to put out false information and the situation has not changed. i want to ask them that if they feel there is normalcy, firstly they have an abnormal template for normalcy. according to them, if there is traffic in the city means that things are normal. well, nothing is normal. kids have not been to school,
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colleges and schools have been shut for two months, businesses are on the verge... our economy is on the verge of being crippled and kashmir has been effectively turned into, you know, an open—air prison camp the information that they give, a lot of it is fudged. you spoke about the landlines, in an age when we rely on cellphones for calling a cab, they... you keep telling me how awful and terrible things are and alleging things that the indian government is doing. it is not the basic point here none of this can surely have come as a surprise in the sense that the bjp ran on a policy platform, as it has done for decades now, of revoking article 370 and fundamentally changing the status quo. as we discussed, your mother was chief minister until 2018.
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she was in a ruling coalition with the bjp. your mother believed in what she called a shared future for kashmiris and delhi working together. she was the one who chose to go into government with the bjp. are you saying your own mother was completely wrongheaded ? i cannot speak for my mother. i cannot speak on behalf of my mother but i want to express my own views from where i see it. when we had elections in 201a and when the results came out, jammu was taken by the bjp. and pdp, my mother's party. we won the kashmir, we won the majority of seats but we had no other choice than to go with these people because if you do not go with the bjp it is like you disrespect in the mandate of the people. and even before we formed a government with them we created what is known as an agenda of alliance which is very clear about a couple of things. for example, article 370. they did not even try touching that in the three years we shared government with them.
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so obviously, they have had this agenda of, you know, they have had this on their agenda for a while but the fact of the matter is that we went with them not for power but we thought that, you know, this was the only choice because this was the mandate of the people. you say we and i know you are not directly involved in the party that your mother still leads in kashmir but the truth is we must be realistic about what your mother did. she imposed occasional blocks on communications and the internet when there was instability and unrest and violence in kashmir during the years of her administration. she also saw many people arrested. she took her own special measures alongside delhi to try and build some sort of security inside kashmir. many kashmiris today, when they hear you and through the twitter feed, your mother, they wonder what on earth your mother was doing. you are not letting me talk, stephen. your questions are longer
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than my answers so you must let me talk. i don't think that is true, but carry on. so i realise that kashmiris feel a lot of anger towards my mother and the pdp because they feel they went with the bjp. the fact of the matter is that kashmiris had a fragile sense of peace in the past two or three decades. you have had periods of what is called a silent peace which is interrupted and something... you have protests that are triggered by, for example, you saw an uprising in 2016, the same thing happened in 2008 and 2010. it is not really about something that has just happened in my mother's administration. but what is happening now is unprecedented. what little autonomy the state had, the government of india has undemocratically and unconstitutionally stripped us of that autonomy and think that is serious. instead of comparing curfews
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that she imposed during her time, you need to see the gravity of the situation. you need to understand that we are hurtling towards an authoritarian regime. the last two months kashmiris have been suppressed. they lost their voice and this is being done in the garb of development and equal rights when the truth is that they slashed our rights and in the moment they have sinister designs for the people ofjammu and kashmir and they cannot deny it. so, you make it sound as though there's no going back. your mother, as i said just a moment ago, was somebody who talked about a shared future between kashmiris and delhi. from what you're saying, and all the allegations you're making, it seems as though you've abandoned that vision of a shared future. so, are you now... i mean, stephen... hang on, let me — do let me finish my question — are you an out and out separatist? you have to understand that what they've done to us has been completely, like, i think there's not a single kashmiri whose face is not lined with a sense of betrayal and shock and anger, and there's simmering anger.
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i feel so angry as a kashmiri. my mother, other pro—india politicians swore on the constitution of india, and what have they done? they've intentionally — there's been a concerted agenda to lump pro—india politicians with separatists. why would you do something like that? i'm just trying to tease out from you what you believe you can now offer as a vision for kashmir‘s future. have you joined the separatist movement? in your current position, it seems there's no space for your mother's politics. so, are you now saying that you've been pushed into a position where you would support even a violent separatist movement? no, well, first of all, i'm not a politician and that's something that i've made very clear. and even before you and i spoke on the programme, i told you that i speak as a kashmiri, i'm not speaking as a politician. as far as the future of politicians is concerned, i don't know what they are going to do.
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but the fact of the matter is that the government of india is not even allowing — forget separatists, forget politicians — they've rounded up thousands and thousands of minor kids, civil society activists, lawyers — they've all been jailed. the fact of the matter is that they've snatched what was rightfully, legally ours and we're not even being given an opportunity to express ourselves. they've literally caged us. so, it's not about my mother's politics or it's about another party's politics. that's not what we're concerned about. what we're concerned about is that they've taken a decision that has plunged kashmir, jammu and kashmir into an era, into darkness and into complete despair. what do you make of the international reaction to what has happened over the last two months? i mean, just a few weeks ago we saw prime minister modi being feted in the united states. he and donald trump appear to be developing quite a friendship at the un general assembly, there were senior politicians, including the un secretary general, urging maximum restraint, but ultimately saying what happens
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to kashmir is a bilateral matter between india and pakistan and must be sorted out in that context. it seems to me, you've had — from your point of view — perhaps a disappointing level of engagement from the international community. i mean, first of all, you mentioned, i think what you're mentioning about is the howdy modi event, right? like, so, that was all for optics, because let's admit it, the prime minister came back and there was no trade deal and they might say that kashmir is an internal problem, but let's be really honest here — frankly, kashmir has not — has never been internationalised to the extent that it's been spoken about now. you have seen the us congressman who've issued statements asking for the government to end the blockade, you've even had parliamentarians from the united kingdom expressing apprehensions about the way, you know, they've placed the entire city under siege.
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so, i think that the international community is putting pressure on them, but they want to project otherwise, so this whole howdy modi event was just to kind of like distort the ground reality, and what's funny is that prime minister modi said all is well in different languages, but not kashmiri. so, he pretty much used all languages except kashmiri. so, you know, the fact of the matter is that he says something and he does something, he says that you have to embrace kashmiris, but here, you've snatched the right to even mourn from us, stephen and, you know, for the past two months, every time there's been a death in some family in kashmir, the families haven't been able to inform their loved ones. so, you might tell the world that you've best told these equal rights on us, but the truth is that you've snatched the right to even mourn from us, and you're humiliating kashmiris. let me ask you this, though, about the future, because you're obviously a young kashmiri, and if one looks at kashmir in recent times, it has been a territory where there is instability, there is violence, there isjoblessness, there is widespread
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poverty, real problems... can i correct you — there's no widespread poverty. if you look at development indices and parameters, jammu and kashmir has done pretty well for a strife—torn state. in fact, it's placed much better in terms of education, literacy rates, sex ratio as well. so, it's placed much better than other states, and there's no poverty injammu and kashmir as such. of course there's corruption, but i would say corruption is very well entrenched in the rest of the country as well. you cannot demote a state on the account, and justify it by saying that there's a problem of corruption. then they have to... it's notjust corruption. if i may say so, according to mr modi, it's notjust corruption, it's the dynastic politics, the control a couple of families.
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of course, we have to be honest and say you are a member of one of those families, which he says has held kashmir back, and his message is that what he's done is going to open up kashmir to new investment, it's going to bring new money into the territory, and in the long run, it will benefit the people of kashmir. do you not give him some credibility, when he talks about investments, infrastructure and modernising kashmir... 0k, first of all, you spoke about dynastic politics, but they, like i said, they want to cover up facts and what they spread is fiction through what's known as whatsapp universities. they try to just distort the reality, the truth. the fact of the matter is that my motherjoined politics in 1996, which was about 20 years ago, so when they talk about family rule in kashmir, i don't know who they're referring to because my mother and my grandfather, both combined, have been chief ministers for not more than five years in their entire lifetime. so, when they say that there's been dynastic rule and they accuse my family, i don't know what they're talking about. second of all, you're saying that i should give them a chance, but how can kashmiris give them a chance when they've done this without our consent?
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and they're doing this in the development when the truth is that they want to engineer demographic changes in what is the only muslim majority state injammu and kashmir. development, you know, the development argument is a deeply flawed one and it doesn't cut it. you spoke about my mother being in a government with them. we asked them for power projects. i don't know if you're aware, stephen, but kashmir has an acute electricity crisis. we produce a,312 megawatts of hydro power but the government of india only gives us 13%, and one of the things in our agenda was to return these power projects so that kashmiris can have electricity like the rest of the cities. but these are things that they were never done. let me ask you this as we end — everything you've said about the indian government suggests that for me that you, for one, as a kashmiri, have little interest now in trying to build bridges, reach out to develop a dialogue with delhi. but are you ready to talk to delhi about the future of kashmir in a constructive way?
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what kind of a hope can i have from a government that detains 9—year—old boys, that talks having a 60—inch chest? you know, that's the kind of rhetoric that they do. but they're scared of 9—year—old boys. what kind of a hope can i have from a government like that? i mean, kashmiris feel — they gravitate, they identify more with someone like imran khan who really spoke up for kashmiris. his speech went on for about half an hour and kashmiris really respect the fact that he spoke up for us, and, stephen, the tragedy is that 72 years after the leadership ofjammu and kashmir acceded to a secular and a democratic india, every kashmiri today is asking themselves if this was the right choice. because this country is not ghandi's india anymore. we're hurtling towards the idea of india, which crushes dissent, which doesn't have space for dissent, which doesn't have space for democracy, which does not want to embrace people of different ethnicities and cultures. i would say that the soul of this country is being assaulted every day.
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i'm sorry to cut you off there, but we have to end. iltija mufti in delhi, i thank you very much for being on hardtalk. thanks. good morning. we've all had our fair share of rain, haven't we, just recently? in fact, tuesday, i'm sure you're now well aware of the flooding rains that we had through the isle of man and the north of england. but they have gradually drifted their way south and east over the last few hours and we are seeing a slow improvement. so the sharp, thundery downpours easing as well in the south—east, and they will continue to clear.
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so by dawn, temperatures are going to be the talking point, not the rain. and in fact, with the northerly wind kicking in, the temperatures falling away quite sharply, so we are going to be greeted with some blue tones on our chart. temperates close to freezing in places. so, yes, there could be a touch of frost first thing this morning, and certainly it's going to be chilly start in comparison to of late. so we start off, yes, on that chilly note. but it will be a dry one, with some lovely spells of sunshine coming through, and probably the best day in terms of drier, sunnier weather through wednesday. now, a northerly wind could drive in a few sharp showers up into the far north of scotland, and at the same time, down to the south—west, we could pick up a little more in the way of fairweather cloud. and those temperatures really struggling after that chilly start. 11—15 degrees the high, down on where they should be for the early half of october. so wednesday a cool day, the blue tones denoting that. but if we look out into the atlantic, around this circulation here, the warmer russets, the winds coming from more
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of a southerly direction. and within this significant area of low pressure is a lot of tropical moisture, so a little more warmth is set to return. you're probably aware now that this has the remnants of ex—hurricane lorenzo in it, and it's this low that's going to track to the west of ireland, and it will bring some wet weather and some pretty rough seas and high tides. that moves across ireland, into northern ireland, and ahead of it, we'll see the cloud thickening and the winds strengthening to gale—force gusts. but further east, there should be a little more in the way of brighter weather, a little more sunshine coming through from time to time, and temperatures similar values on thursday to wednesday. we're looking at highs of around 11—16 degrees. but it's when this low pressure, which is going to track its way steadily eastwards and south during thursday into friday, which will introduce slightly milder air, but it will bring a spell of wet and windy weather, before that system slowly starts to ease as it pushes south. take care. 00:28:32,115 --> 2147483051:51:00,772 designs for the people ofjammu 2147483051:51:00,772 --> 4294966103:13:29,430 and kashmir and they cannot deny it.
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