Strongly criticizing people "resorting to violence" in Kashmir and demanding 'Azadi', J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the "Azadi they are demanding is not real as their 'Azadi' will be similar to that of Syria, Afghanistan and Libya."
"Do people want Azadi where innocents are killed, minor children blinded and maimed?", the Chief Minister asked, and added: "Just ask the parents whose children have been killed in the ongoing unrest, or are blinded and maimed for rest of their lives: that is the Azadi which they want?"
Mehbooba made the remarks while speaking at a function organized here in connection with inauguration of Ujala Scheme, after her return from New Delhi.
"Are people of Kashmir ready to pay this price for Azadi which certain elements are demanding?" she asked. "If you want Azadi by creating this kind of a situation and pushing youth and innocent children to resort to violence and attack Police Stations and CRPF camps to get killed, then tell me what kind of Azadi you want?"
She then hastened to add that "in fact, in the ongoing unrest, Azadi of many people has gone missing."
"People can't open their shops, can't send their wards to schools. Is this Azadi which some people want?" she asked. "This kind of Azadi will be similar to that of Syria, Afghanistan and Libya."
She said Kashmir issue has been there for the past 70 years and therefore "can't be resolved immediately." "Does this mean that our schools will remain closed for years?" she said.
Mehbooba, who returned from New Delhi after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi there yesterday, said Modi is a "powerful leader and Kashmir issue can be resolved only during his tenure."
"I told the Prime Minister that Kashmir is political issue and steps must be taken to resolve it," she said. "If Kashmir issue is not resolved during Modi's tenure, then I think it will never be resolved. Modi is a powerful leader and you don't get such leaders quite often and so easily."
Mehbooba also slammed Pakistan for "supporting and abetting violence" in Kashmir.
"If Pakistan was serious to resolve Kashmir issue, it shouldn't have supported and abetted violence in Kashmir. Pakistan is provoking people to come on streets and resort to violence," she alleged. "Day will soon come when Pakistan will have to be friendly with India."
Referring to killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, she said "it was just an encounter which is not new in Kashmir."
"There was an encounter and three militants got killed which is not new in Kashmir. What is the fault of the government that there is so much of bloodshed?" she said, adding: "We want to work for welfare of the people but some people have been creating hurdles right from day one."