Soon after taking oath as twelfth chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, 79-year-old Mufti Muhammad Sayeed ‘surprisingly’ gave credit to Hurriyat, militant outfits and people from across the border for ‘free and fair’ assembly elections of last year.
Mufti was addressing his maiden press conference after being sworn in as head of the PDP-BJP government
“I want to say this on record and I have told this to the Prime Minister that the we must credit the Hurriyat, Pakistan, militant outfits for the conduct of assembly elections in the state,” Mufti told the media-men.
Flanked by deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Singh of BJP and PDP’s Dr Haseeb Drabu, Sayeed said, “God forbid if they (militants) would have done something. It would not have been possible to have smooth conduct of the elections.”
“You all know what it required to disturb the peace,” he added.
Mufti while talking about the Vajpayee era said , “despite Kargil war and attack of Parliament, Vajpayee was patient and maintained his calm. He further said the initiatives taken in that period would be taken forward.
While giving credit to people of Srinagar, Mufti that he felt proud that the people in the heart of Srinagar city came out in large number to vote and thanked the “people from across the border” for the “conducive atmosphere” for the smooth conduct of the elections.
“People from across the border made the atmosphere conducive. They also allowed the democratic process to continue in the state. This gives us a hope,” he said in veiled reference to Pakistan.
Mufti while talking about the security scenario in state said that as ‘head of unified command he knows his job well.