After Reviewing ‘Losses and Gains’, PDP Calls BJP Ministers Resignation ‘CBM’ 

Srinagar—Ruling Peoples Democratic Party government on Saturday thanked its coalition partner for “support” in Kathua rape and murder and termed the resignation of two BJP ministers as a confidence-building measure that would strengthen the alliance.

The PDP had convened a meeting which was held under the chairmanship of party president and chief minister Mehbooba and party ministers, MLAs, MLS and senior leaders participated in it. 

“We took review of overall situation. We discussed what we gained and what we lost during three years of coalition with BJP,” Senior PDP leader and the government spokesman, Naeem Akhtar told reporters after the meeting.

“The way the entire people of this country adopted (the girl), the way they raised their voice, the way they helped us uphold the credibility of the investigation… an attempt was made to damage the credibility, to subvert the investigation… The party will fail in its duty if we don’t express our gratitude to the entire people of our great country, to our civil society members and especially the media of this country,” works Minister Naeem Akhtar said, after a meeting lasting more than three hours at Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s residence here. All PDP ministers, legislators and senior leaders were present at the meeting.

 “We expect the same attitude of the people of the country, irrespective of party affiliations, irrespective of ideological affiliations, to look at the restlessness of our youth, look at the issues of our youth, at the political issues from a humanitarian angle, and join hands to help us heal the wounds,” he said.

Settling any doubts on the future of the PDP-BJP coalition government, Akhtar said, “We appreciate our alliance partner BJP, which supported us. The Prime Minister, Home Minister, Ram Madhavji and Amit Shahji, they played a role and sought resignation of two BJP ministers, about whom it came in the media that they didn’t play a positive role. I feel that was a confidence-building measure. And if the PDP and BJP continue to solve their problems in a similar way, I think there would be no substitute to this alliance.”

The minister added that the Kathua rape and murder developments had created an “emotional bond” between J&K and the rest of the country. “We want this bond should be strengthened. If the people of the country understand that the people of Kashmir are not monsters, (if they understand) they are not their enemies… they are our own people, I think we can take forward the process of reconciliation.”

Flanked by PDP spokesman Rafi Ahmad Mir and others, Naeem said: “We feel that the party will fail in its duty if we don’t express our gratitude to entire people of our great country, members of civil society and media of our country. We expect same response of the country irrespective of the party affiliation, irrespective of ideological affiliations, to other wounds, the uncertainty in our youth, the issues of our youth, the political issues will be looked in from humanitarian angle and entire nation gets together and help heal our wounds, support our government.” 

 “Our party wants J&K that the renewed emotional bound that has got created between J&K and country because of Asifa. We want that the way entire country has identified with us, this bound gets strengthened. The people in our country need to realize that ghosts and enemies don’t live in Kashmir we can take the process of reconciliation forward.”               

Asked about time frame in culmination of trial, the works minister said: “We will try to seek justice for Asifa as soon as possible and that perpetrators are punished. Our state will also bring a law for capital punishment to those raping children.”

Regarding demands shifting of case from Kathua, he said: “The case is monitored by Jammu and Kashmir high court and if need is felt, state in coordination with the high court will take all measures for uninterrupted and unobstructed justice in the case. We also appreciate the way the investigation has been conducted.”

 

 

Akhtar, who was authorised by the party to speak after the meeting, however, backed what Tourism Minister Tassaduq Mufti had told The Indian Express, on the PDP and BJP “being partners in crime”.

“Whatever Tassaduq Mufti sahib said, that represents an emotion. That represents, in fact, the pain of this place. As I said, the cure to this pain is a support similar to that the entire country gave us in the Kathua case. To address the pain of Jammu and Kashmir, people (of India) should support, us irrespective of the government, irrespective of the government that rules in Delhi or Jammu and Kashmir. We believe that till people of India don’t understand our humanitarian problems, our wounds, it wouldn’t happen. We expect the entire country to be with us.”

In an interview to a national newspaper, Tassaduq Mufti said: “The two parties (PDP and BJP) have ended up being partners in a crime for which an entire generation of Kashmiris might have to pay with their blood.”

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