Centre Should Take Responsibility If Youths Pick Up Gun: Mehbooba

4 September 2015
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: It is the Indian Government, not Pakistan, which should take the responsibility if a youth in Jammu and Kashmir picks up a stone or gun, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti today said. 'The leaders of both the nations, in particular I want to say it to the Modi Government That if a 14-year-old child of Jammu and Kashmir picks up a stone A 22-year-old youth who has done BA and MA and has taken up weapon is your responsibility not that of Pakistan,' she said while addressing a party function here. Mufti said that it was the responsibility of the Indian Government to address the problems being faced by the people of the State. 'Our sorrows, our pains, our poverty You have to take us out of this. Our PM and our political parties have to resolve our issues. They have to think why a BA pass youth did take up gun in 2010 and 2014. 'He was not born with the gun. If a 14-year-old boy takes up stone will we resolve it by giving him a bullet. Will you fire a bullet on him,' she asked. Mufti said that people living in border areas needed good roads, good schools and good health-care but even after 70 years of Independence these people are looking for bunkers to save their lives. She said that war was not an option as any war with Pakistan would prove to be catastrophic for the sub continent as both the nations will use nuclear weapons in the war. 'I appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has got a historical mandate and Nawaz Sharif who has been facing various hardships in his country for everlasting friendship,' she said. Mufti also raised the One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) demand of ex-servicemen. 'While Pakistan is a poor country their army is in prosperity. In our country our ex-soldiers have to go for strike demanding OROP and we say we do not have money. Both the countries have money to buy weapons to fight each other but they do not have money for the welfare of their own people,' she said. Mufti said that when a few mask-wearing youth take out black or green flags, media makes a hue and cry about it but when the same Kashmiri people save the lives of the Amarnath yatris nobody speaks even a word about that. Accusing the media of projecting a wrong image of the people of Kashmir, the PDP leader said that the media should stop portraying the people of the State as 'villains' and work towards highlighting other issues plaguing the State. Mufti said that while her party had several options to form the Government but her father chose to go with BJP just to respect the mandate of the people of Jammu region. 'Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had taken one of the biggest and the toughest decision of his life, keeping in view and respecting the mandate of the people of Jammu region. 'We could have made Government with any other political party but it was Mufti's thinking that he wanted to see Jammu and Kashmir as one entity, wanted to see it develop and happy that is why in this stage of his life he took such a difficult and challenging decision,' she said. Mehbooba said that her father did not want to ignore the mandate of people of Jammu region. 'I am not sure any other leader would have taken such a big decision,' she said. The PDP president said that her father had worked with Atal Bihari Vajpayee and that was the reason he wanted to go with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 'Because he (Modi) said that he would be following Vajpayee's footsteps,' she said. 'There was another reason for this decision. As when in 2002, Mufti made Government in alliance with the Congress there was NDA Government in New Delhi led by Vajpayee. 'The experience that Mufti gained by working with Vajpayee despite not having in alliance with him. At that time the situation at the border was similar as of today. Mufti along with Vajpayee ensured peace,' she said. During the time of Vajpayee, dialogue with the separatists in Kashmir was also held, she said. 'It was only when Mufti Mohammed Sayeed became Chief Minister that he proposed the opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road,' she said. 'Dialogues were held with the Kashmiri separatists that resulted in decline in militancy. Even Musharraf (Pervez) made a statement from Pakistan that he will not allow his country to be used for anti-India activities and he was successful to some extent,' she said. She also alleged that the previous Government of NC and the Congress made the State bankrupt.