Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti has said her party does not believe in political exploitation through emotional slogans but has contributed to political and economic development of the state without ever shifting its stand.
Addressing a workers meeting at Noorabad Wednesday she said Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has made the most significant contribution to the state without ever resorting to political rhetoric and had been able during his chief ministership to facilitate a national consensus on the resolution of Kashmir.
She said even though Mufti headed a government supported by its major partner congress he was able to rope in the NDA Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in conceding the main elements of resolution. She said the coalition government in 2003 could provide the confidence to Vajpayee to acknowledge the two main features of a resolution which was addressing the Jammu & Kashmir issue within the ambit of humanity (Insaniyat) and extending hand of friendship to Pakistan, acknowledging in the process that country’s role as a stake holder in peace and resolution.
This, historic development Mehbooba said took place at a time when NC was enjoying power at the centre as an NDA coalition partner. She said instead of using its huge and unprecedented mandate received from the people of Jammu & Kashmir NC had entered into alliance with the BJP just to secure small favours like the appointment of Omar Abdullah as a junior minister in Vajpayee government. She said NC entered into this alliance even while knowing that scrapping of Jammu & Kashmir’s status and Article 370 was a corner stone of the policy of the sangh pariwar. The NC she said continued its relation with NDA even after the humiliating rejection of the resolution on autonomy passed unanimously by the state Assembly.
Mehbooba said that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed without making any noises or creating hype succeeded in land mark decisions from the government of India; the only of its kind in last six decades during which state had only been made to sacrifice as part of various accords. She said the principle of an economic free zone in the erstwhile state was accepted by both India and Pakistan by agreeing to reopen the traditional routes across the LoC and dispensing with the requirement of passport, visa and custom duty for trade and travel. She said reopening of Srinagar-Muzafarabad and Poonch- Rawalakote roads is only the starting point of the vision that the PDP hopes to continue and accomplish with the support of people after it receives a decisive mandate.
Compared to this the NC led coalition has failed to carry forward any initiative either on political or development front. She said Mufti Mohammad Sayeed achieved whatever he did without any working groups or interlocutor recommendations but for the present government their reports have only become a new reference point. She said it is in the nature of the NC politics to create demands and dead-ends and then try to survive by exploiting people on slogans around them. This happened with the plebiscite, autonomy, AFSPA and introlocutor report, added Mehbooba.
Mehbooba said while the PDP led coalition secured two huge economic packages from Prime Ministers Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh the NC government is now unable even to secure adequate plan allocations from the centre. She said in spite of making worst compromises by selling out water resources and JKBank the present government is now unable to fund even routine development projects.
Mehbooba said while Vajpayee granted an economic package for the tourism industry covering the Hoteliers, Houseboat owners, Shikarawalas and pony walas, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was able to convince Dr Manmohan Singh of the need for a reconstruction programme which is still on at a cost of Rs-32 thousand crores. Along with this the PDP led government was able to secure for the first time a multilateral investment in core infrastructure sector involving roads, sanitation and drinking water from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Unfortunately this programme for which an independent agency ERA was created has also been derailed by the present government with its inefficiency and corruption; not to speak of its inability to secure a single new scheme, project or initiative.
She said her party is constantly working on plans to change the development scenario of the state and the ways that could help the resolution of the Kashmir issue. She said the youth constitute the focus of the PDP’s policies and as the party believes that the human resource of the state and facilities can be transformed into our best asset. She said the NC has put a restriction on the vision of our youth and have been exploiting them in the name of seasonal, casual, daily rated labour and class IV employees and then not even paying those wages regularly. The PDP she said has a definite policy to change this situation and revolutionize the employment scenario in the state.