Riyaz Ul Khaliq
Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti Sunday said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir lacking any role in the partition of India but they were caught in it. She said that future of J&K is secured as a part of Indian union as whosoever took the decision “it was a wise one”.
Speaking at the inaugural function of Khadi exhibition in ‘Kashmir Haat’, Ms Mufti said that people of Jammu and Kashmir were good and an anti-thesis of what media shows to outer world.
“We are suffering for last 65 years because of the making of India and Pakistan in which we had no role,” she told the gathering, “the decision to accede to Indian Union is final and a secure one.”
Defending here statement, she said, “no one can dare speak in neighbouring Pakistan where hanging of people is a routine affair. Take case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s hanging, no one spoke against it because there was ban but it is altogether a different case scenario in India which is plural.”
“When a Kashmiri was hanged… although his number was 28 (in the row of people awarded death penalty)…whatever the reasons, whether wrong or right, teachers, lawyers, activists held protests against it,” Mehbooba Mufti said while referring to hanging of Afzal Guru. Guru was at number 28 in a list of those who were given death penalty. But, he was hanged on February 09, 2013, all of a sudden.
Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Kalraj Mishra was present in the function. In fact, most of her speech was addressed towards him rather than the audience.
Asserting that she will follow footsteps of her late father and predecessor Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, she said, “my father believed in finality of accession with the union of India and I won’t derail from his ideology.”
Mehbooba, who visited almost every stall at the exhibition grounds housing ‘Kashmir Haat’ here, said, “I’m reminded of my childhood when exhibition would be held here.” She said this pointing towards AG’s Office and the CRPF camp situated behind it. “We have been robbed of those beautiful days. My father wanted to pursue the goal of peaceful J&K and I am following that.”
She mentioned that part of a generation lays buried because of the situation Kashmir lives in. She even insisted that the turmoil has limited Kashmir’s capacity to utilize its handicrafts and tourism to its full potential.
Defending her father’s decision of forming coalition government with right wing Hindu Nationalist BJP, she said, “the decision, if seen in election contest, had costs for us (PDP) and BJP as well but the hand shake of PM Modi and late Mufti sahab was for the secure future of J&K.” “It was for the future generation of our people. We wanted that treasures will be opened for J&K.”
Recalling days of Atal Bihari Vajpayee led union government, Mehbooba said, “the initiatives started by then PM Vajpayee Ji when late Mufti sahab was J&K CM are path breaking but alas, not even the buses bought in 2005 for cross LoC passengers have been changed.” “The initiative could not move forward,” she said. She said the rundown road to the LoC is so bad that her government had to replace the buses.
“We want Modi Ji to take us out of the situation we are in for no fault of ours,” Ms Mufti said while praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for visiting Pakistan. “Let the initiatives started by none other than Vajpayee Ji be taken forward.”
Modi, it may be recalled here, had stopped in Lahore for a dinner meet when he was flying home from Afghanistan last year. She further said that some people across India and Pakistan don’t want peace in J&K. “But, we need to move beyond and they are quite a few.”
In her brief speech, Mehbooba asked J&K people to give utmost preference to those who visit J&K. “But, our people are not bad as shown by media,” she said addressing Union Minister, “when landslides hit Sonamarg area last year even my cops fled. Security forces saved their own life first but Kashmiri locals risked their lives and saved non-local Yatris. Listen to what a Punjabi family had said: they were surprised to see the behaviour of Kashmiris which was altogether different what media shows them.”
However, Mehbooba, who asked Union government to take “special care” of J&K, said, “agar aap iss Kashmiri nawjawan ko ungli dikhawo gay to who muka dikhayee ga! Magar tum ek Kadam Chalo, Ye Dus Kadam chalein gay. They are very good people.”
The Chief Minister further appealed that people need to take corrective measures regarding stone pelting. “Today, an elderly thinks hundreds of times whether they should go to Masjid on Friday, which is mandatory, or not because a situation has developed that it has now become Juma Pathraav and not Juma Mubarak.” Ms Mufti said the youth need to counselled on that.
While visiting the stalls, Ms Mufti said she has made some purchases. “You know, I neither buy expensive things nor the bad stuff,” she said, “I could see the Samavar man had to put in more work on that but I still purchased it.”