Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party Chief Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said New Delhi’s August 5, 2019, decision has taken Jammu and Kashmir further away from it.
“J&K was considered as the crown of this country. It was holding its hand despite being a Muslim-majority region. However, on August 5, 2019, right-wing BJP taking advantage of the majority in the parliament committed a grave injustice to us, bringing further miseries. People in the rest of the country should bear in their mind that the move has only taken J&K further away from the country,” Mehbboba said.
She was speaking to media persons after paying homage to her father and party founder Mufti Muhammad Sayed on his fifth death anniversary in Bijbehara.
“You can’t win the hearts and minds of people using power. You might be able to cage them but not their ideas. We have seen mighty powers like the US retreating from Afghanistan and talking to the Taliban. As my father would often quote, democracy is the battle of ideas. The sooner New Delhi realises it, the better,” said Mehbooba.
She said her father strived for peace, dialogue and reconciliation.
“My father always believed that neither grenade nor bullet can solve the issue but talks. He would say that the road to peace in this region leads through J&K and that peace was subservient to a cordial relationship between India and Pakistan. He would always bat for dialogue with all stakeholders. He wanted borders to become irrelevant and the opening of Srinagar-Muzafar road was a step in that direction. He had given a roadmap for resolution of J&K issue,” Mehbooba said.
Mehbooba could not visit her father’s grave last year on his fourth anniversary as she remained under detention following the stripping of JK’s special status.
However, today she reached there and offered prayers.
Others who accompanied Mehbooba included her younger daughter Irtiqa Mufti, PDP senior leaders Abdul Rehman Veeri and Abdul Gaffar Sofi.