The National Conference leaders are befooling the people of Jammu and Kashmir by talking about restoration of ‘Sadr-e-Riyasat’ (president) and ‘Wazir-e-Azam’ (prime minister) portfolios for the state, the Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti said on Friday.
Addressing an election rally here to seek votes for Aga Syed Mohsin, the PDP candidate for the Srinagar parliamentary constituency, Mehbooba said: “Nowadays some leaders are befooling the people in their election rallies by talking about restoration of prime minister and president portfolios for Jammu and Kashmir. When these leaders were in power and were enjoying a majority in the state assembly, they brought the prevention of terrorism Act (POTA) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to the state to arrest the separatist leaders, and also handed over power projects to the BharatiyaJanata Party”.
Mehbooba, however, did not name the National Conference chief Omar Abdullah, who has recently said that his party would strive to get back the titles of president and prime minister for the state, if voted to power.
“Let’s talk of these portfolios later and concentrate first on the state’s special status, which is being snatched from us,” the PDP president said, asserting that accession between J&K and the Union of India was “conditional”.
“Being a Muslim-majority state, J&K was supposed to go to the other side (Pakistan), but we preferred to remain with India on the condition that the state must have a special status,” she said.
Mehbooba said her party will fight tooth and nail “any attempt or conspiracy aimed at weakening or abrogating the state’s special status.”“Weakening or abrogating the special status would mean the end of relation of Jammu and Kashmir with the union of India,” she said.
Mehbooba said the PDP allied with BJP and formed the government “only with the intent of having the hearts and the inner voice of the people of the state heard”.
“PDP focused on two important points, which includes settlement of Kashmir issue by talking with the people of the state and by making Jammu and Kashmir a bridge between Pakistan and India, and talking with the neighbouring country (Pakistan) to create a friendly relationship with it”.
“PDP entered into an alliance and formed the government with the BJP on certain conditions, including return of power projects and initiating a dialogue process between India and Pakistan for settlement of the Kashmir issue,” she said.
Talking about the recent killing of an engineering student-turned-militant from Nunar area of Ganderbal district, the PDP president said “in his death, we lost another educated youth”.“Every day we are losing lives of such youth in encounters who even don’t know how to keep guns in their hands. They are unable to hold guns in their hands. Let’s introspect and see who’s responsible for such a scenario,” she said.
She slammed those leaders who left the PDP in recent months, and, while raising her hand up to her forehead, saluted those leaders of the party who remained loyal to it “in its difficult times”.“I appreciate and salute those leaders who upheld the flag of PDP in the party’s difficult times,” Mehbooba said.“Those who could not remain loyal to the party that gave them respect, position, status and identity can never be loyal to the people,” she said.
She termed the killing of Kupwara youth due to pellets on Thursday as “unfortunate”.Later talking to reporters on the sidelines of the function, she said the state administration is “on a spree of taking ridiculous decisions one after the other”.“Not allowing Nomads/Gujjars/Bakerwals to transport their livestock from Jammu to Valley is an insensitive decision. They cannot wait until elections are over,” Mehbooba said.
“This has put the tribal nomadic community at great stress as such a delay in their movement from Jammu towards the Valley is fraught with consequences,” she said.Terming such restrictions as “insensitive” and “unacceptable”, Mehbooba said she has taken up the matter with Governor Satya Pal Malik and demanded immediate revocation of the curbs.“I have taken up the matter with Governor who has assured me of all help,” she said.