PDP wants J&K to be a bridge of peace: Mehbooba

Reaffirming one of the basic agendas of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said the party wants J&K to become a “bridge of peace”.

“Be it our neighbouring nations like Pakistan or China – that recently tried to enter LAC – I believe Mufti sahab’s dream of making J&K a bridge between India and its neighbours is a formula which government will have to adopt,” Mufti said while addressing media persons after holding a meeting with PDP’s youth wing for the first time since August 5, 2019, when the Government of India scrapped the special Constitutional status of J&K.

Mufti slammed the central government for recent laws issued for Jammu and Kashmir. “To protect the future of Kashmiri youth, we will go to any length. Earlier all laws were made in consultation with the public and they were people-friendly. But now laws are being imposed on Kashmiris which are against their existence and we won’t tolerate it,” Mufti said.

Mufti said she would “go to any extent” to safeguard the future of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir by “striving for the restoration of J&Ks special status.”

“We have lived our lives…. Now we have to think about the youth and their children. We can go to any extent to safeguard the future of our youth,” Mufti said.

“We have fought battles against Task Force, surrendered militants and POTA. Our present battle is for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special position and resolution of the Kashmir issue. The youth are with me in this battle. Their support has encouraged me and I am glad they are high on confidence,” Mufti said.

When asked if the atmosphere was conducive for holding elections forthcoming Block Development Councils (BDC) in Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba said “Election is not a priority for me.”

Meanwhile, a PDP spokesperson said party’s youth leaders from across Jammu and Kashmir put forth their views and suggestions during Tuesday’s meeting.

“It was discussed that there is no future until and unless we strengthen our leadership. We will fight for rights to address our people’s aspirations and keep up to the youth expectations,” said the spokesman.

As per the spokesman, while speaking on the occasion, the youth leaders asked the PDP president to “move forward with the issues and vowed to extend their support.”

“Our leader Mehbooba Mufti is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way,” said a youth leader while speaking on ‘future prospectus’ of taking back the special rights, he said. “We all stand behind our leader with firm belief and faith,” the PDP spokesman said. Mehbooba Mufti expressed “pleasure over the feedback, unity of youngsters and keeping their faith intact on the party leadership,” the spokesman said.

As per the spokesman, Mufti addressed the youth leaders and told them that PDP “rejects the undemocratic treatment imposed by the ruling regime, which has deprived us of our rights and human dignity, which underpin the constitution”.

As per the spokesman, while addressing the youth leaders Mufti said: “We demand an immediate end to the ruling regime’s denial of the political problem. Our people have endured a brutal clampdown and the world’s longest internet slowdown. Many of our youngsters continue to be unjustifiably held in jails, despite huge risks to their lives from the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.

“Too many of our mothers and sisters have been rendered widows. Too many of our children have been lost. Too many of our students are staring ahead at bleak futures. There’s unending insecurity among the young people with the fresh fears of demographic change, assaults on jobs, land rights, culture and language,” added Mehbooba Mufti

Mufti told the youth leaders that “in these tough times we need to sustain hope and salute the remarkable resilience of our people.”. The spokesman said Mufti in her address highlighted that Jammu and Kashmir has seen many lockdowns and crises but “each time we have shown that we can survive and stand with one another.” “We have demonstrated to the world a unique capacity to mobilise support, care and humanitarian aid among our own communities. In the most difficult times, we have shown compassion for those who are less fortunate, generosity towards outsiders. This is the secret code to our survival as one people. No power in the world can take that away from us,” Mufti said during her address.