Umar Khurshid in Islamabad
Terming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a party with a set agenda to resolve issues confronting the State, Chief Minister and Party President, Mehbooba Mufti today said it (PDP) is pursuing its agenda eversince its inception with dedication and sincerity, power or opposition notwithstanding.
Kick starting her party’s electoral campaign for the Anantnag parliamentary by polls here today, the Party President said her party has pursued this agenda with all seriousness and despite temptations and limitations of times. She said PDP provided the all important alternative political narrative in the State which subsequently helped in bringing peace and persuading Centre to take some bold State specific confidence building measures.
Mehbooba Mufti said whenever her party formed Government in the State, be it in 2002 or 2015, it did so after long drawn discussions by chalking out common areas of governance which were popularly known as CMP or Agenda of Alliance. “That’s why the results were evident at the end of our Party’s rule in 2005. POTA was withdrawn, Task Force was disbanded and crackdowns were abandoned. More so, when late Mufti Sayeed raised the demand of opening the State to outside world, it was positively responded with the opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote roads”, she added saying it led to cooling down of tempers within the State which resulted in a decade long ceasefire on borders as well.
This time also in 2015, the Chief Minister reminded the gathering, her party took a historically tough decision of allying with BJP though there were very easy options of power sharing in the State available. “But Mufti sahib did it because he never shied away from speaking the truth and taking decisions which were in the interest of Jammu & Kashmir”, she said adding that he took a decision to join Congress (considered untouchable then) in 1960s and after 50 years people realize his vision. Similarly in 2015 he allied with BJP but the only aim was to get Jammu & Kashmir out of its morass and desolation as the State doesn’t have only routine Bijli, Sadak, Paani issues but bigger ones which need broad national consensus and political will.
Mehbooba Mufti said it was this national consensus and political will that under the leadership of late Mufti Sayeed not only many big political decisions like resumption of dialogue with Pakistan and separatist leaders and repeal of draconian laws and lifting of curbs on civilian movement were ensured but the State was given a whopping Rs. 24 thousand crore Prime Minister’s reconstruction package as well. Similarly this time, she said a Rs. 80 thousand crore Prime Minister’s Development Package was announced by the Prime Minister which once executed would give the State a developmental and social turnaround.
The PDP President said she is hopeful that many more bold and big steps on Jammu & Kashmir would follow to give its people respite from bloodshed and uncertainty. She favoured opening of many more cross LoC routes which were modes of people’s transportation historically. “Let’s open more routes and allow people more connectivity and interactions. Jammu & Kashmir is the gateway to South and Central Asia. Hazrat Shah i Hamdan came to Kashmir with all its culture and cuisine. Let’s explore that all. Lets open routes in Jammu and Ladakh and let the State move ahead as a hub of economic and progressive activities,” she told the gathering while underscoring the importance of national consensus and political will in achieving this all.
Earlier, General Secretary, Rafi Ahmad Mir in his address said PDP gave a new dimension to the politics of the State. He said party’s agenda of reconciliation and development would get renewed push once the party’s candidates get back with resounding victory.
In his address, party’s nominee for Anantnag parliamentary constituency, Mufti Tassaduq Hussain said he would emulate the urge and aspiration of his father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to take Kashmir on the pedestal of development and progress. He said he intends to see development in Kashmir which is not in contradiction with its Nature, climate and ethos.
Youth Wing President, Waheed ur Rehman Parra; District President, Sheikh Javed; Mufti Sajad and other Party functionaries were present on the occasion.