Mehbooba’s rider for govt formation: JK-specific CBMs

The stalemate over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir sees no end, with the Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday asking New Delhi to initiate state-specific Confidence Building Measures before she thinks of forming the new government.
Mehbooba’s rider for govt formation: JK-specific CBMs
GK Photo

The stalemate over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir sees no end, with the Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday asking New Delhi to initiate state-specific Confidence Building Measures before she thinks of forming the new government.

Mehbooba, who met Governor N N Vohra here this afternoon, said the Government of India should initiate the J&K-specific CBMs to "create a good atmosphere in the State so that the new government gets a fillip and space."

"Before the formation of the new government, New Delhi should take such initiatives (CBMs) for the people and create a good environment in the state. I am not asking such measures only for people of Kashmir but for all three regions of the state," she told reporters here after her one-on-one meeting with Vohra.

This was the first time that Mehbooba spoke to media after the demise of her father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in New Delhi on January 7.

"Today Mufti Sahab is not with us and you (New Delhi) have to take the CBMs to address the vacuum created by his death," she said.

Vohra had called Mehbooba to clear her party's stand on government formation in the State which is under Governor's Rule since January 8.

The PDP chief, who was accompanied by senior party leader MuzaffarHussainBaig, defended her father's decision to ally with BJP. 

"My father's conviction and commitments are sacred for me. But at the same time, we need to have a good environment where you can bring peace and progress in the State," she said.

"My father in his last speech talked about restoration of peace in J&K as well as batted for talks with Pakistan," she added.

Mehbooba, however, did not spell out the CBMs her party is seeking from New Delhi for forming the government.

The PDP president maintained her party has no differences or trust-deficit with BJP, "but Government of India should start CBMs due to the complex situation of the state."

"J&K is altogether a different State. Unlike other states where you have opposition or administrative problems, we have totally different issues. We have to tackle several forces. We need the Centre to be fully with us," she said.

Mehbooba said she doesn't "have experience or goodwill my father had."

"Mufti Sahab was able to deliver during the past 10 months even after facing lots of difficulties. Perhaps I don't have that goodwill and vision," she said.

Mehbooba said her father was optimistic that the Prime Minister NarendraModi would bring J&K "out of the difficult situation it is facing."

"My father used to say he has not joined hands with BJP but with crores of Indians who have elected ModiJi . Mufti Sahab was hopeful that we will work together with ModiJi and Indians to bring out the people of the state from morass," she said.

Asked whether PDP is seeking assurances from BJP on implementing the Agenda of Alliance—the framework worked out by both parties for sharing power in the State—Mehbooba said: "There is no such question. It has to be implemented, come what way."  

Mehbooba said her father was able to "overcome the coalition difficulties due to his statesmanship and vision."

"Mufti Sahab used to go to downtown area of Srinagar to talk to people there. He was the only head of the State after Bakshisahab to do so," she said.

Meanwhile, a PDP handout issued here this evening said Mehbooba wants a government in Jammu and Kashmir "not for power but for inspiring confidence among people."

"I told the Governor that we want a government in the State that will actively address the plethora of problems confronting Jammu and Kashmir and for this the Central Government shall have to take some concrete confidence building measures," she said.

Mehbooba, according to the statement, said "most of the crucial political, economic and administrative issues that need immediate attention through tangible confidence building steps, both by the State and the Central Government, have already been emphasized in the 'Agenda of Alliance' and if implemented with sincerity of purpose, these could to a large extent respond to the complex problems of J&K—faced as it is with decades long political uncertainty, economic disempowerment, development deficit, unfulfilled aspirations and mounting unemployment."  

Mehbooba said despite having taken a "huge political risk of going against the public sentiment in Kashmir by aligning not with BJP or Prime Minister, NarendraModi, but with the people who elected Modi, it was the credibility and stature of Mufti Sahab that despite facing enormous resource constraints and frequent unsettling issues during the past 10 months, he kept the things moving on the governance and development fronts and even ventured into the areas in Kashmir, especially in Srinagar, where no mainstream politician would dare to go."

She said although PDP faced various challenges in the 10 months of its alliance with BJP, unfortunately, "Mufti Sahab's resolute decision was not reciprocated by the Central Government the way he expected it to be."

Mehbooba said Mufti had a vision that "given the decisive mandate enjoyed by NarendraModi, the Government of India, under him, would take effective and realistic steps to address the political, economic and administrative challenges confronting J&K to ensure lasting peace and stability in the State."

Mehbooba, according to the press note, said if a government is to be formed in the State, it will have to take tangible measures to "address the causes of alienation, trust and development deficit in Jammu and Kashmir and work towards finding a long-lasting solution to the problem plaguing the State for the past more than six decades."

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