Day 20: Mehbooba Says Burhan Was Not the Target

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Srinagar:  In an attempt to douse the flames which  engulfed the Valley following killing of popular militant commander Burhan Wani, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Thursday said the security forces “weren’t aware” about Wani’s presence during the encounter at Bamdoora Kokernag.

Burhan was killed by SOG of J&K Police along with his two associates in the evening of July 8.

She said the police, army and intelligence agencies informed her that they only knew that there were three militants.

“They did not know who the three militants were. If they knew about Burhan being there, perhaps we would have been better prepared,” she said.

She was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of foundation day celebrations of her Peoples Democratic Party at party headquarters here today. 

She also called for finding lasting solution to the problems confronting Jammu and Kashmir to make peace a reality in the State and the region. She at the same time denounced the senseless violence perpetuated on the streets in Kashmir which she said results in colossal human and economic loss for the Kashmiris.

“Let us rise as one to meet the challenges confronting Jammu and Kashmir and make this a turning point in the State’s turbulent history so that our future generations have not to suffer the miseries of violence and bloodshed,” Mehbooba said.

Expressing grief over the loss of precious lives in current unrest Mehbooba said the violence is doing incalculable damage to the image of State as also to its vital economic and social interests including tourism and education.

Calling for introspection, Mehbooba said the people have to ponder over why such horrible situations always crop up in Kashmir when the economic activity starts picking up as had happened this summer with encouraging tourist arrivals.

“There seems to be larger design behind such orchestrated eruptions to push Kashmiris into perpetual economic deprivation and social disorder,” she said and added that Kashmiris are made to pay a huge price by way of their life and livelihood in each such cycle of violence.

She said it has been observed time and again that such hideous situations have only hurt the interests of Kashmiris the most. “We have to think over it that how long it is going to be like that for the hapless people here,” she asked.

The Chief Minister called upon the country’s political leadership especially the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to make a renewed effort towards the resolution of J&K’s problems by engaging all the stakeholders.

“I am sure the country’s political leadership will pick up the threads and carry forward the reconciliation and resolution process started by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003,” she said and emphasized the need for taking concrete steps to win hearts and minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Slams Hurriyat for ‘hartal politics’

Srinagar:  In a scathing attack on Hurriyat,  Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said why there are no strikes in winters when militants got killed.

“Don’t encounters take place in winters? Why there are no strikes then? Why strikes only in summers and not in winters?” she said.

“Some elements were waiting since long for the spring to come so that they can disrupt the tourism and developmental works to start here,” Mehbooba said in her speech at the party function here.

Stating that strikes won’t bring anything except destruction, she said who are the people who enter into a crowd and change the direction of the people and take them to army camps and police stations.

“If you can’t control your children then how can the security forces be controlled when their guns are snatched and the weapons are now being recovered,” she said.

Citing the 2010 unrest in which the strike prolonged for three months and 120 youth got killed, Mehbooba said what happened then.

“Who is talking about those martyrs now? Again 45 youth got killed… They call for protest again now. They are again prolonging the turmoil. Whether it is a two day or three months long strike, nothing will happen? Dialogue is the only way to solve all issues,” she said. 

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