Srinagar: While she was all praise for PDP-BJP coalition while in power, former chief minister and PDP patron Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday described her party’s decision to cobble together the coalition like consuming “a cup of poison”.
Speaking for the first time to her party workers after the break-up of the coalition government in the state, Mehbooba also made a fervent appeal to Prime Minister Modi to respond to Pakistan Prime Minister Designate Imran Khan’s call for sustainable dialogue process between the two countries at the earliest.
She said the call of dialogue issued by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan in his victory speech was a vital opportunity for both the countries to remove the pending issues amicably and that Prime Minister Modi must respond to this call with utmost positivity.
“This opportunity needs to be grabbed at an earliest so that the dream of a peaceful South Asia is realized without any further delay,” Mehbooba said in her address on party’s 19th foundation day.
Referring to cobbling together an alliance with the BJP, she claimed that the government in Jammu and Kashmir wasn’t formed for the petty power but in the larger interests of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and get the people out of the “squalid” conditions.
“The government was formed to ensure the peace returns and the perturbed people of the state could heave a sigh of relief from bloodshed, mayhem and uncertainty, “ she said the PDP president, adding that the core motive of the PDP has always been to get India and Pakistan on table to talk peace and end the decades only conflict.
However, she indicated that the PDP’s alliance with the BJP was not her decision and stated that after the death of her father, she was not interested in continuing with the coalition.
The former chief minister also demanded that the special status accorded by the constitution of India needs to be protected at all costs and any tinkering with it would turn the state into a veritable inferno. She underscored the need to protect Article 370 and Article 35-A from any assault, stating that the mainstream parties in the state need to speak in unison to get Jammu and Kashmir out of the vicious cycle of violence and instil enough confidence in the people so that they could scan new horizons of property and peace with eager hope.
Demanding that the Indo-Pak trade needs to be further promoted and encouraged, the PDP president said in her speech that the time has come when both the countries should play a vital role in transforming Jammu and Kashmir into a bridge of friendship between the two countries and more confidence-building measures are taken for achieving the objective. She also demanded the opening of the silk route and people to people contact between the fragmented parts of the state.
She remarked further that when she took over the reins of government in the state, the situation was worrisome and taming it was a Herculean task. She, however, maintained that her government didn’t leave a single stone unturned to accord justice to state’s vulnerable sections. She also recalled how the PDP government fought for justice to the victim of Rasana case and booked the culprits as per the law of the land. She said those who committed the crime of such heinous nature need to be given exemplary punishment so that no one in future dares to commit such a devilish act.
She said that the party in unison again pledges to follow the agenda for which foundation of the PDP was laid in the year 1999 by the party founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. “And therefore, we are once again here to tell it to the world that we will follow the path and the footsteps of our beloved leader and take the state to the new scales of peace, prosperity, and development,” Mehbooba said.
Besides the party present, those who addressed the people include Muzzafar Hussain Beigh, Mohammad Khurshid Alam, Mehboob Beg, Rafi Ahmad Mir and Syed Altaf Bukhari.
On the occasion, senior leaders, district presidents and zonal presidents were present including Fayaz Mir, Nazir Ahmad Laway, Abdul Rahman Veeri, Ghulam Nabi lone Hanjura, Abdul Haq Khan, Syed Basharat Bukhari, Javaid Mustafa Mir, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Asiya Naqash, Syed Farooq Andrabi, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Raja Manzoor, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Yawar Mir, Noor Mohammad Sheikh, Aijaz Ahmad Mir, Mohammad Yusuf Bhat, Abdul Rahim Rather, Anjum Fazili, Naeem Akhtar, Sartaj Madni, Dilawar Mir, Peerzada Mansoor Hussain Sohrwadhy, Nizam ud din Bhat, Safeena Beigh, Mufti Sajad, Abdul Hameed Kosheenm Raja Aijaz, Sofi Abdul Gaffer, Dr Mohammad Shafi Wani, Waheed-ur-Rahman Para, Bashir Ahmad Mir, Irshad Rasool Kar, Nazir Ahmad Khan and Javaid Mirchal.