My party workers ‘real mujahideen’, says Mehbooba

My party workers ‘real mujahideen’, says Mehbooba
Photo: Peoples Democratic Party

Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti Sunday described her party workers as "real militants", saying they are "giving relief to the people without having any stones or guns in their hands".

Addressing a gathering of PDP workers in northern Kupwara town while campaigning for the upcoming LokSabha elections, Mehbooba said the issue of Kashmir should be resolved through dialogue as putting separatists or party workers behind bars "will not yield anything".

"BJP can lodge FIR against me, can put me behind bars but the issue which is there needs to be resolved today or tomorrow," she said.

Mehbooba said the government of India should take the initiative of talking to Pakistan and separatists.

"For saying this, if they want to put me behind the bars, they can do so. But there is a dire need of resolving the Kashmir issue," she said.

"My father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed took the decision to form his own party in the interests of the people and with the help and prayers of the people, we were able to form the government in 2004," Mehbooba said. "We opened the Muzafarabad road and started a dialogue with Pakistan and Hurriyat, but unfortunately we were not able to take it further as our regime of three years ended so quickly".

She said few months before his death, his father told her that "when we want to take Kashmir to new heights of development, everything goes in vain when a news of the killing of a Kashmiri gets flashed every evening. He would say the pain remains there in the hearts of the people and that (such killings) have to be stopped," Mehbooba said.

"When young boys in Kashmir get killed, what is the purpose of development then? I am trying to take them (young boys) out of this, but unfortunately people don't understand me," she said.

The PDP president said the Prime Minister NarendraModi "failed to use his power despite his party being in majority at the Centre."

"The issue of Jammu and Kashmir is a challenge for every prime minister, but whosoever will resolve it will be the best achievement of his life," she said.

Mehbooba said she has always said that "only Modi can resolve the Kashmir issue" and claimed that she apprised the prime minister many times about it (resolution of Kashmir).

She claimed that the PDP always stood for the honour and rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Around 12,000 FIRs (against stone-pelters) were withdrawn and the BJP was against me for this, but I did it for the welfare of the people", she said.

"I was betrayed by my own people who compelled me to from the government at the earliest (after the demise of my father). I would not have joined hands with the BJP if my own members had not betrayed me. I think everyone is aware of that," she said.

Mehbooba said Dineshwar Sharma was appointed as an interlocutor to have a dialogue with the separatist leadership but "they (separatists) didn't support the initiative".

"I forced the BJP to have a ceasefire for a month which was impossible otherwise, but militants did not support it," she said. "I wanted to have a dialogue with separatist leaders but they shut their doors".

She said she entered into alliance with the BJP after making "proper demands" like evacuation of forces from civilian areas when the situation is good, abrogation of AFSPA, opening of new routes in Kashmir, and return of at least two out seven power projects "which were taken away in the regime of Omar Abdullah".

On recent ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, Mehbooba said no one came out of their homes to protest against the ban.

"It was only the PDP which hit the streets to protest the ban. I even told Modi several times that without a dialogue with Pakistan and Hurriyat, Kashmir cannot be resolved," she said.

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