May 2016 News

Implementation Of Agenda Of Alliance Will Get J&K Out Of Morass: Mehbooba

31 May 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Adil Lateef

Srinagar: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today termed the Agenda of Alliance a 'very big challenge' and said the State can be taken out of morass if it is implemented in letter and spirit. 'This Agenda of Alliance is a very big challenge for us and if we are able to implement it then I think we can take out Jammu and Kashmir from this morass (musibat),' she said, while winding up the discussion on Motion of Thanks on Governor's address in the Legislative Council. Mehbooba once again defended her father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's decision to ally with BJP and said the State could have witnessed another era of bloodshed and turmoil had he not respected mandate of Jammu. 'Mufti has always accepted big challenges in life. May be this is the reason when he joined politics in 1959 or 60 and went against situation of that time (by choosing mainstream politics). There was slogan of Rai Shumari (plebiscite) and even the mention of mainstream politics was seen as blasphemy But my father was impressed by the composite culture of India and its democratic values during his student days in Aligarh. 'He could see how the poor and marginalized were empowered to chose or dethrone the Prime Minister which impressed him. But he accepted the challenge and I am happy then a time came when the people who were away from the mainstream politics also adopted Mufti's politics and termed it right decision. He was a farsighted person and his decision to join a democratic party was right one,' the Chief Minister said. She said joining hands with BJP was also a big challenge like that of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah's decision to accede Muslim-majority J&K with India. 'The decision for him (Sheikh) was also difficult but he was a most popular leader and a farsighted person. And today when see in our sourrounding countries which have either 100 percent or 95 percent Muslim population, we see their citizens are getting displaced and their children are starving because of certain conditions, then it seems that the decision of late Sheikh to become part of a democratic country was right and the path treaded by Mufti was also right,' she said. Mehbooba said there were limited options before PDP after the results of 2014 elections were out. 'One option was to dishonour the mandate of people Congress and NC offered us support and I am thankful for that. So now it was for a man to think who in his whole life talked about democracy. Could he negate the mandate of the people? Could he have overlooked the mandate of people of RS Pura who elected Mufti Sayeed when he couldn't win from Kashmir? Could we have negated the mandate of people of Jammu who voted in lakhs because they choose a party according to their will?' She said the PDP could have formed the Government with Congress or NC but such step could have triggered same crisis in the State which occurred after the alleged rigging of 1987 elections wherein Muslim United Front (MUF) was winning good number of seats. 'Such a decision would have repeated the situation of 1987. The opposition space after alliance of NC and Congress in 1987 fell vacant and MUF wanted to contest elections. They too were supposed to swear by Indian Constitution and Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. We have had top leaders like Late Abdul Gani Lone and Syed Ali Geelani here,' she added. The Chief Minister said keeping in view such horrible scenario, the PDP formed Government with BJP and an Agenda of Alliance similar to 2002 with Congress. 'Till now no other party has done this,' she said, referring to Agenda of Alliance. Mehbooba said the separatist leadership claimed their political space without any intervention of the Government during the 2002-2005 tenure of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. 'At that time, separatist leaders were jailed but we set them free. I encountered them during election campaigns including Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah and Geelani sahab. The dialogue process also started and they went to Pakistan. Umar Farooq and Bilal Lone spoke with Centre. She said her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed advocated opening of border routes and only meant. 'You have done nothing to consolidate the peace efforts initiated between 2002 and 2005 under the leadership of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. We are again starting from zero and by raising these issues now; you are trying to vitiate the atmosphere. If we are doing anything good for the State, you should support us,' she told the opposition. The Chief Minister said the issues like unshackling the potential of the State by opening more points on LoC, banking facilities, strengthening of Article 370, wresting land from the security forces, etc. have been a part of mainstream discourse for decades. 'Former RBI Governor, C Rangarajan, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, M K Rasgotra and N C Saxena were part of the Working Groups appointed by the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who had agreed on all the political, economic, security and cross-LoC confidence building measures. They unequivocally agreed that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has to go and it will go. We have hope that the leaders at the Centre have understood the ground realities in J&K and they want to improve the situation,' she said. She accused Opposition of pricking and taunting BJP over revocation of Article 370. 'What do you want? You want to abolish it? Though no one can do that? You prick BJP by raking up discrimination with Jammu. You want to vitiate and communalise the situation,' the CM said. Mehbooba said PDP has entered into an alliance with the BJP to seek in accordance with the 'Agenda of Alliance' national reconciliation on the political and economic challenges confronting Jammu and Kashmir. Slamming critics, the Chief Minister said there was a reason to ally with BJP. 'We have had an AoA and a Government at Centre which has a strong mandate. I respect Dr Manmohan Singh and I remember he tried a lot to go to Pakistan since last 10 years but he couldn't. His native village is there. And, here you have a Modi ji who flew and had tea there (in Lahore). He also attended the weddings of Nawaz Sharief's grand-daughter.' The Chief Minister said Mufti had a vision that given the decisive mandate enjoyed by Narendra Modi, the Government of India, under his leadership, would take effective and realistic steps to address the political, economic and administrative challenges confronting J&K. 'Mufti Sayeed's vision was not only to bring the people of various regions within the State closer to each other, but to bridge the trust deficit between J&K and the rest of the country and that is why he joined hands with BJP to carry through this enterprise of hope,' she said and added it's not about the BJP and PDP, it is about an inclusive Government which will strive towards pulling J&K out of the morass. Hitting out at the Opposition for accusing Coalition Government of implementing the RSS's agenda on Kashmir, she said such remarks reflect the lack of faith among the Opposition members in their ideology which is deeply secular and plural. 'Even Pandits living in Jammu camps swear by the name of Dastgeer Saheb and Rishi-Maili SahebThose shrines are sacred and no one has returned empty handed from them. No power on earth can dilute our secular ethos,' she said and added that even some Muslim countries attempt to dilute Kashmir culture. Reacting to the Opposition's charges over 'Cat and Pigeon' remark', the Chief Minister said her statement has been distorted by the Opposition and media to project as if every Kashmiri Muslim is a militant. 'You are trying to exploit my remarks on Kashmiri Pandits. I have had said that our workers, your workers, the workers of NC, PDP, Congress and BJP still live in hotels of Srinagar under security cover. They have PSOs and they don't go to their villages. So I said if they can't go then how we can say to our Kashmiri Pandit brothers to go and live there in villages?', she said. Clarifying further, she said: 'I had used a word: cat. I said we are putting pigeons among cats. We say Opposition is watch dog but God forbid does that mean we call Opposition dog? It was just an example but it was presented in a way as if all Kashmiri Muslims are militants,' she said. The Chief Minister said not Kashmiri Muslims but militants are threat to Kashmiri Pandits. 'No neighbour (Kashmiri Muslim) killed Moulvi Muhammad Farooq? Who killed Maulana Masoodi? Was Gani Lone killed by his neighbour and you started to compare cats with Kashmiri Muslims. Kashmiri Pandits aren't afraid of Kashmiri Muslims and I remember when Wandhama occurred how Kashmiri Muslim women were mourning and beating their chests. I think you shouldn't have distorted my statement by saying I compared Kashmiri Muslims with cats. Are Kashmiri Muslims militants?', she said while lashing out at Opposition. 'Should we not then provide a sense of security to Pandits. We have to make them comfortable. Unless they get confidence to go to their native places without security, they have to be provided proper residences in transit camps which will be inclusive with fifty percent reservation for migrants of other faiths. And to link these issues with Article 370 is completely misplaced,' she said. The Chief Minister said the demand of settling Kashmiri Pandits at their native places is 'incorrect' and those who make such demands are only politicizing the issue. The Chief Minister, without naming separatists, castigated them for issuing protest programmes on Fridays and allegedly provoking kids to pelt stones outside Jamia Masjid in Srinagar. She said no respectable will desire to go to Jamia Masjid or Pather Masjid in Old City to offer Friday prayers as he fears for his life. 'You have turned Jummah Mubarak into Pathraw MubarakWe see small kids holding stones outside Jamia Masjid This is not Islam. Islam is what Nund Reshi preached, Dastgeer Sahab preached, Shah-e-Hamdan preached. That is Islam and that is real Islam. Islam is not beheading amid chant of 'Allah-o-Akbar',' she said and urged people of Kashmir to show 'real Islam' to world. The Legislators who earlier participated in the discussion on the Motion of Thanks on Governor's address include Firdous Ahmad Tak, Yasir Reshi, Dr B A Veeri, G N Monga, Ramesh Arora, Zafar Iqbal Manhas, Vibodh Gupta, Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Ashok Khajuria and Ajat Shatru Singh.