Seeking a strong and decisive mandate for his party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Wednesday said the upcoming Assembly elections offer a historic opportunity for laying out the process of rebuilding a politically stable and economically sustainable Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing party convention of Shopian Assembly constituency, Mufti said the people of Jammu and Kashmir, more than ever before, today want the politicians to stand up and address the political and economic issues that matter to them. “They want leadership, they want commitment, they want accountability, they want political stability, they want economic prosperity and they want development,” he said and added that as a dependable regional political force PDP has demonstrated that it can deliver on all these counts with unflinching consistency.
“There is less than a month left to determine the direction that we are going to take in the next 6 years for the larger good of our people,” he said and added that while PDP has already won on the turfs of trust, credibility and commitment, it is time to win the seats now. “And if we get a decisive mandate, it will not be the victory of my party but the victory of people of Jammu and Kashmir who have been yearning for change through democratic means,” he said and hoped that January 2015 will mark a new beginning for the State with a new era of peace, development and prosperity.
He said the political philosophy of PDP revolves around the ideals of democracy and good governance. “Our objective is to promote and establish political stability and provide good governance that ensures probity and participatory democracy,” he said and added that the party would at the same time continue to work for the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
Mufti said the next six years are crucial for not only ensuring good governance but accomplishing the challenging task of rebuilding safe, sustainable and planned infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir in the aftermath of the devastating floods that hit the State last month.
“If you want a change of direction, not just a change of government, if you want new priorities, not just politics – the PDP is the only alternative,” he said and added that for PDP more than a poll campaign, it is time for a crusade. He said while campaigns are about winning votes, crusades are about reaching out beyond politics. “It is a crusade for politics of ethics, crusade for new opportunities, crusade for hope and crusade to mark a new pragmatic beginning,” he said.
“I urge the people of Jammu and Kashmir to join us in this enterprise of hope, as together, we can make the difference and rebuild a safe, sustainable and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir for our future generations,” he said.
Referring to the local issues, Mufti said, if voted to power, his Government’s focus would be on horticulture, handicrafts and tourism sectors which are the mainstay of the State’s economy. “Various multilateral institutions and major Indian corporates would be roped-in to build and fine-tune the infrastructure in these key sectors to achieve the desired levels of growth,” he said and added that infrastructure building in agriculture, horticulture, tourism and handicraft sectors would not only give a fillip to the State’s economy but would help create more job opportunities for the local youth by fully harnessing their enterprising skills.
Mufti said despite having a flourishing horticulture sector, there has been almost negligent focus on this crucial sector in the area which could have led to economic prosperity of the people.
He said the Fruit Mandi Shopian would be developed by way of expansion and infrastructure building so that it is brought at par with Azad Fruit Mandi. “Similarly Mughal Road would be further developed by building tourism infrastructure along it so that it can boost the economy of the area,” he said and added that despite being gifted with some of the most picturesque locations, the area has not benefitted much in the tourism sector due to political neglect.
Mufti said although during its brief tenure in the Government between 2002 and 2005, PDP had made some tangible progress on building infrastructure in horticulture and tourism sectors in the area, the initiatives were unfortunately put on the back-burner by the later regimes.
PDP candidate for Shopian assembly segment, Advocate Mohammad Yousuf and PDP leaders Naeem Akhtar, Dr Haseeb Drabu, Abdul Razaq Zawoora, Zafar Iqbal Manhas and Simnani were also present on the occasion.