Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Wednesday claimed that she didn't allow the Bharatiya Janata Party to ban Jamaat-e-Islami or crack down on the Hurriyat leaders during the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a gathering of PDP workers here to kick-start herparty's campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Mehbooba said the BJPwanted to crack down on Jamaat-e-Islami and "suppress the separatist leadershipthrough NIA raids".
"However, our government did not allow the right-wing partyto crack down on separatists," she said.
Mehbooba, the president of the Peoples Democratic Party,claimed that the BJP wanted to carry out NIA raids on Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, SyedAli Geelani, and other separatists "but my party was against any such move".
She said that it was during the government of National Conference-Congressin 2019 when the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was implemented and the NIA"spread its web" in Kashmir.
Mehbooba said she forced the BJP to have a ceasefire inKashmir for at least a month "but militants didn't respond to the ceasefire".
"Militants were not supportive when I forced the BJP to havea ceasefire for a month. I wanted to have a dialogue with separatist leadersand even a parliamentary committee visited Kashmir in 2016 but they(separatists) shut their doors. Dineshwar Sharma was appointed as aninterlocutor to have dialogue with the separatist leadership but they didn'tsupport it," she said.
Mehbooba said that whenever the Lok Sabha elections areround the corner, Kashmiris "are made scapegoats".
"In 2014, when the Congress party was in power at theCentre, they executed Afzal Guru to gain the sympathy of the people of India.Similarly, the BJP has launched a crackdown against the Hurriyat leaders andbanned Jamaat-e-Islami, while the NIA has summoned Mirwaiz Umar Farooq".
She said that PDP has always "stood for the honour andrights" of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
"To bring the people out of this morass, (late) MuftiMuhammad Sayeed joined hands with the BJP in 2014," the PDP president said.
"In the past, people gave a full mandate to regionalparties, but in 2014 the PDP got 25 seats in Kashmir and the BJP got 25 inJammu. The PDP had no other option but to join hands with the BJP. We thoughtthe BJP would pick up the threads of peace talks from where the former Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee had left. Mufti Sayeed burnt his hands by entering into analliance with the BJP only to provide relief to the people of Jammu andKashmir," Mehbooba said.
She said her father launched the PDP to "make Kashmir abridge between India and Pakistan".
She also said she would not have joined hands with the BJPafter the demise of Sayeed but "was compelled to do so".
"I was betrayed by my own people as some members of my partywent to Nagpur to overthrow me and told the people there (in Nagpur) that theyare ready to form the government with 18 legislative members in Jammu andKashmir. These members asked the people in Nagpur to keep me aside and form thegovernment," she said.
Mehbooba said she joined hands with the BJP "only to stopthese people, otherwise I had no intention to form the government".
"Had these people formed the government, neither there wouldhave been any agenda of alliance nor Article 35-A."
Senior PDP leader and former MLA Bandipora Nizamuddin Bhat,Abdul Qayoom Wani, who is the PDP's candidate for Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, andformer cabinet minister Abdul Haq Khan, also spoke on the occasion and urgedthe workers to strengthen the party at grassroots and help it win theparliament elections.