Won’t Raise White Flag to Surrender Before BJP: Mehbooba Mufti
New Delhi should understand that PDP is not a problem but part of the solution: Mehbooba Mufti
Image Courtesy: PTI
Srinagar: The president of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said that they will not surrender before the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government notwithstanding the political and economic persecution launched by the ruling party in the region.
“The BJP wants us to raise a white flag which we will not...It is the BJP that will have to hoist the white flag soon,” the former chief minister said.
Mufti addressed hundreds of its workers in Lal Chowk area of Srinagar as the party celebrated its 24th foundation day in the region. The PDP leader slammed the ruling party of using force to conquer the people of Kashmir that she argued will not happen.
“I want to ask the BJP what have they achieved. They (BJP) have seen what happened in Manipur due to guns. No problem is solved through the barrel of a gun. It can only be solved within the ambit of humanity,” she said as her supporters consistently applauded her remarks.
Mufti said the BJP was using the same tactic employed by the separatist groups to conquer the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “But that did not yield anything and people continued to suffer in the violence,” she added.
“The then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian flag in the midst of lakhs of people in Lal Chowk. Today, when you (BJP) come to hoist the flag, there are thousands of security forces present but no Kashmiri is present. This is what you have achieved,” she said.
The PDP was established in 1999 by Mufti’s father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, a former Congress party stalwart, who also served as India’s Union home minister in the V P Singh government. The PDP formed the government for the first time in 2002 after winning 16 seats in the Assembly Elections and led the coalition government with Congress party until 2008. Sayeed served as J&K chief minister for the first three years before making way for Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad. The rule ended with a mass agitation in 2008 against the government’s proposed move to transfer land to Amarnath Yatra board.
The party formed the government again after stitiching an alliance with BJP in 2014 despite local opposition and offers of support from other parties. After Sayeed died in 2016, Mehbooba Mufti became the erstwhile state’s chief minister but the government fell in 2018 after BJP withdrew its support.
Mufti claimed that PDP was not a party seeking government but was formed to establish peace in the turmoil-struck region. “We have not promised anything other than peace and solution to the issue of Kashmir. Mufti Saab said the same thing to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who reciprocated by initiating a dialogue with the separatists and Pakistan, and leaders like L K Advani participated in the peace talks,” she said.
“New Delhi should understand that PDP is not a problem but part of the solution,” she added.
She, however, warned that the ruling party had failed in the state of Manipur and that the country needed to be saved from the spillover. “This is just a trailer and I urge the Opposition to stand together to save the Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb (culture) of this country,” she said.
During her 25-minute address, the PDP leader also appealed to the judiciary to monitor the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
“I urge the judiciary especially the Supreme Court of India to observe how many raids are being conducted by the enforcement agencies like NIA, SIA, SIU and ED every day in Jammu and Kashmir... If everything is normal then why is it happening here. Why are thousands of our youth jailed?” she said
She also claimed that the authorities had been detaining youth ahead of public holidays, such as Republic Day and Independence Day, and the journalists were being summoned to the police stations whilst businessmen were being “extorted and threatened” with similar raids.
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