SRINAGAR No more defending her joining hands with the Bharatya Janata Party to form government in the state, former chief minister and PDP patron Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday described her partys decision to cobble together a coalition like consuming a cup of poison.
Speaking for the first time to her party workers after the fall of her government following surprise BJP pullout, Mehbooba claimed that the government wasnt formed for the petty power but in the larger interests of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and in order to get people out of the squalid conditions.
The government was formed to ensure the peace returns and the perturbed people of the state could heave a sigh of relief from bloodshed, mayhem and uncertainty, she said, adding that the core motive of the PDP has always been to get India and Pakistan on table to talk peace and end the decades only conflict.
However, she indicated that the PDPs alliance with the BJP was not her decision and stated that after the death of her father, she was not interested in continuing with the coalition.
Hardening her stance Mehbooba, who faces dissensions in her party, also demanded that the special status accorded by the constitution of India to Kashmir needs to be protected at all costs and any tinkering with it would turn the state into a veritable inferno.
She underscored the need to protect Article 370 and Article 35-A from any assault, stating that the mainstream parties in the state need to speak in unison to get Jammu and Kashmir out of the vicious cycle of violence and instil enough confidence in the people so that they could scan new horizons of property and peace with eager hope.
Demanding that the Indo-Pak trade needs to be further promoted and encouraged, the PDP president said in her speech that the time has come when both the countries should play a vital role in transforming Jammu and Kashmir into a bridge of friendship between the two countries and more confidence-building measures are taken for achieving the objective. She also demanded the opening of the silk route and people to people contact between the fragmented parts of the state.
Mehbooba made a fervent appeal to Prime Minister Modi to respond to Pakistan Prime Minister elect Imran Khans call for sustainable dialogue process between the two countries at the earliest.
She said the call of dialogue issued by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan in his victory speech was a vital opportunity for both the countries to remove the pending issues amicably and that Prime Minister Modi must respond to this call with utmost positivity.
This opportunity needs to be grabbed at the earliest so that the dream of a peaceful South Asia is realised without any further delay, Mehbooba said in her address on partys 19th foundation day.
She remarked further that when she took over the reins of government in the state, the situation was worrisome and taming it was a Herculean task. She, however, maintained that her government didnt leave a single stone unturned to accord justice to states vulnerable sections. She also recalled how the PDP government fought for justice to the victim of Rasana case and booked the culprits as per the law of the land. She said those who committed the crime of such heinous nature need to be given exemplary punishment so that no one in future dares to commit such a devilish act.
She said that the party in unison again pledges to follow the agenda for which foundation of the PDP was laid in the year 1999 by the party founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. And therefore, we are once again here to tell it to the world that we will follow the path and the footsteps of our beloved leader and take the state to the new scales of peace, prosperity, and development, Mehbooba said.
Besides the party present, those who addressed the people include Muzzafar Hussain Beigh, Mohammad Khurshid Alam, Mehboob Beg, Rafi Ahmad Mir and Syed Altaf Bukhari.
Rebels Stay Away
The Five Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rebel lawmakers continue to be defiant as they boycotted partys rising day function presided over by Mehbooba Mufti here.
The dissident legislators who did not attend the rally included former minister and Pattan MLA Imran Ansari, his uncle Abid Ansari, MLAs Javeed Baig and Mohammad Abbas Wani and MLC Yasir Reshi.
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