Mehbooba seeks 6 years governance for PDP

15 March 2008
The Daily Excelsior

Srinagar: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president, Ms Mehbooba Mufti today said given the unparalleled performance of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as the Chief Minister, the people across the State are today recognizing him as a distinctive leader with a vision and a commitment to deliver. 'People across the board are now convinced that only Mr Sayeed has the capability and commitment to pull Jammu & Kashmir out of the morass and put it on the path of political stability and economic prosperity,' she said. Launching the party's pre-election mass contact program at a public meeting at Batamalloo, the PDP president said even though he headed the coalition Government for a very short span of three years, Mr Sayeed has left indelible landmarks of his impeccable performance not only at the ground but on the public minds as well. 'Even his detractors today explicitly concede that Mufti’s tenure as the Chief Minister was no less than a golden era of the State,' she said and added during that period the State had vibrantly started radiating the vibes of peace and prosperity not only across its three regions but to the whole South Asia as well. Ms Mufti said with 16 legislators in its kitty and 3 years of governance, amid difficult circumstances, the PDP has done what the National Conference couldn't achieve in 30 years with around 60 legislators in the House. 'Give us six years and see how we are going to transform your lives,' she told the gathering. She said the PDP is the only party that has voiced, with unwavering consistency, the issues concerning fate of the State and its people at various forums, despite facing stiff opposition from various quarters. 'And today we are more than satisfied to see that the principled stand taken by the party on the issues concerning the people is being widely acknowledged,' she said and added that this public recognition of the party's contribution in transforming the State's security and developmental scenario is the PDP's greatest strength. The PDP leader asserted that the party would continue its struggle for the restoration of the political and economic rights of the people of the State. She said greatest challenge before the party is ensuring social and economic security of the State's youth, who have underwent a trail of miseries because of the turmoil. 'We are approaching the problems of our youth in a holistic manner so that they not only draw maximum benefits from the spiraling economic opportunities but are also trying to create enabling social conditions for our educated unemployed young boys and girls,' she said and added that at the same time the party would continue to work for rehabilitation of all those families, irrespective of their affiliation, adversely affected by the turmoil. Addressing the meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig said the PDP's alliance with Congress is based on the principle that both the party's would work together for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue without compromising the honour and dignity of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. He said in tune with the PDP's agenda, the Congress supported all initiatives taken in this regard by the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and later carried forward by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. 'And let me tell you the time is not far away when you will be traveling to Rawalpindi and Islamabad as you are presently traveling to Jammu or Delhi,' he said and added that not only the people of Jammu & Kashmir but the whole region are behind the peace process and it has to reach to its logical conclusion with amicable settlement of the problems plaguing region's growth. Mr Baig said the peace process could have by now made tremendous progress if Mufti Sayeed would have continued as the Chief Minister. 'However, as per our agreement with the Congress, we had to handover the chair to that party,' he said and added that with stabilization of the political situation in Pakistan the peace process is going to regain pace bringing stability and prosperity not only to Jammu & Kashmir but the whole region. Launching a scathing attack on the National Conference, the Deputy Chief Minister said the NC leadership has, on crucial occasions of the State's history, traded honour and dignity of the people of the State for power. He said the PDP came into existence, under the gifted leadership of Mufti Sayeed, with sole objective of ridding the people of the NC's exploitative tantrums. 'And I think we have to a large extent succeeded in that noble objective,' he said and added that the coming elections would be crucial for future of the State and people must exercise their vote with great caution so that they do not fall into the hands of the same exploitative elements who even didn't desist from misusing the wealth of the Muslim Auqaf Trust for their personal luxuries. 'Mufti Sahab has in three years gifted the State with two Islamic Universities out of the same Auqaf funds from which NC couldn't build a primary school during past 50 years,' he said and added that even today the NC leaders' only concern is how to grab power and that pursuit they are pleading for power, sometimes before Rahul Gandhi and other times making rounds around Azad Sahab. 'But perhaps they are yet to understand that power lies in hands of the people and not anywhere else,' he said. Speaking on the occasion, senior PDP leader and Minister for Finance & Housing, Tariq Hameed Qarra said PDP has played a vital role in transforming developmental profile of Srinagar city and Batamalloo has today become a role model for other constituencies in the city, he said it would add to restore magnificent glory of the city that has been unfortunately changed into a cesspool by the past regimes. Mr Qarra accused NC leadership of exploiting the people of Srinagar city for votes without giving anything substantial to them in terms of development. 'NC has all these years exploited the people of Srinagar politically, economically and socially,' he said and added that now the time has come when they would be accounted for their exploitative tantrums. 'The people of Srinagar have now tasted development and they will not get carried away by emotive slogans,' he said and added that, of late, NC has again started raising the bugle of autonomy just to befool the masses. 'Where was their autonomy, when they were in absolute majority in the Assembly in 1975 and 1977,' he asked. Squarely blaming the NC for the death and destruction that took place in the State after the massive rigging of 1987 elections, Mr Qarra said out of frustration the NC leadership has now started brandishing the whole Muslim community as terrorists. He said in Kashmir, NC leadership is vainly trying to sympathize with the suffering people here, while in Jammu they are in league with BJP as they ensured the victory of the BJP mayoral candidate in the recent elections there. 'Even today Dr Farooq Abdullah was the chief guest at a function organized by the Shiv Sena in Jammu,' he said. Mr Qarra said scared by his performance and its impact on Srinagar, NC vainly resorted to a vilification campaign against him but have miserably failed in this misadventure as well. 'I know my people are with me,' he said and added that any effort by NC to tarnish his image would boomerang on their face.