Srinagar, Jul 31: Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti on Monday called on forging unity to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“If Shia, Sunni, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Bodh, Gujjar, Bakerwal and Pahari forge unity, the BJP would be forced to raise the white flag,” Mufti said while addressing the party’s 24th Foundation Day.
She claimed that her father and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed imposed a condition before Prime Minister Narendra Modi for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015 and had sought assurance that the Article 370 of the Constitution will not be removed by the Centre.
Mehbooba said her father was not power hungry and wanted to take Jammu & Kashmir out of problems and troubles.
She, however, added that her party is not going to raise the white flag that the saffron party wants. “When Mufti sahib had 28 seats in the 2014 Assembly elections, he met Modi and presented his list of conditions for forming a government. He received assurances from the BJP government at the Centre that Article 370 would not be tampered with. He had their hands tied. He was not seeking power; otherwise, he would not have taken three months to form the (coalition) government (in Jammu & Kashmir),” she explained.
The PDP president said, “I want to tell the BJP that in Lal Chowk in 1949, the late Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled the national tricolor in the presence of thousands of people and today you are coming to unfurl the flag amid unprecedented security arrangements and no Kashmiri stands there. Is this what they call the achievement?”
Mufti said during her father’s first term as chief minister, significant progress was made on both the reconciliation and development fronts in Jammu & Kashmir, which included the talks between Hurriyat and Advani and the reopening of the road between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad.
“I want to tell the Supreme Court to come and see how many raids are being conducted by the security agencies of ED, NIA, SIA and SIU every day,” she said, adding, “The judiciary must observe why it is happening here.”
If there is everything alright in Kashmir why these raids are being conducted and why the youth of Kashmir are in jail, she questioned.
Mehbooba alleged that youth raising their voice are booked under Public Safety Act (PSA). “I want to tell the judiciary to see that after 2019, how many youths have been arrested and put in outside jails without any trial? Even parents are not being allowed to meet their kith and kin on one or the other pretext,” she alleged.
She also alleged that the BJP was trying to convert the entire country into Manipur, and appealed to the opposition parties to stay united in order to counter these attempts. If they want to see peace they should go back to Vajpayee policy, she said. “Manipur is just a trailer; the BJP wants to turn the entire country into Manipur. My appeal to the opposition is to stay united if they want to save India,” she added.
The former CM of J&K also criticised the UT administration for allowing the nominations of migrants from Kashmir to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly rather than allocating seats to the community.
She said her father had offered a dialogue to separatists when he was the Home Minister. The separatists refused as they were holding guns and believed that it would settle their issue which did not happen and resulted in continuous suffering of people.
Mufti also questioned why there was no reservation for Sikhs in J&K Assembly. “They cannot do Hindu-Muslim (politics) if the reservation is given to the Sikh community,” she said.
The PDP president said her party is not the problem, but a solution to the issue. “We are not part of the problem, we are the solution for the Kashmir issue and we want a solution to emerge within the democratic setup,” she said.kno