SRINAGAR: Former Chief Minister and President of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti, stated on Monday that no decision has been made yet regarding the possibility of contesting elections in Jammu and Kashmir in alliance with other parties.
She told reporters in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, “No decision has been taken about that so far,” when asked about her party’s potential participation in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls alongside the National Conference (NC) and Congress.
In response to recent militant attacks in the Valley that resulted in the death of a police officer and a non-local labourer, with another police officer in critical condition, Mufti expressed her regret over former Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh’s remarks claiming the situation in the Union Territory is normal with no collateral damage over the past four years.
Mufti said, “I regret that the former DGP recently announced proudly that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is normal and there has been no collateral damage when three targeted attacks took place in those three days only. I fail to understand what is collateral damage for them. When a police officer, soldier, or labourer is killed, if that is not collateral damage, what is? What happened in Kokernag?”
In an encounter with in Kokernag in September, an Army Colonel, a Major, and a Deputy Superintendent of Police lost their lives. Mufti raised questions about the claim that everything is fine in Jammu and Kashmir, asking, “Why have they snatched the freedom of the people here? Why do you not allow people to talk? A huge massacre is happening in Gaza, Palestine, and the Government has passed an order that imams (prayer leaders) cannot even pray for them, and you cannot protest. The freedom of the people here has suffered the most damage in the last five years; the freedom of expression, the freedom to protest.”
Mufti also criticised the Lieutenant Governor-led administration’s order warning employees of disciplinary action if they engage in demonstrations and strikes, calling it unfortunate. She said, “It is very unfortunate. On one hand, you say everything is fine in Jammu and Kashmir, and on the other, you are afraid of the voice of the people. What can we do when there are five lakh security forces personnel here? If the employees have problems regarding the GP fund, the provident fund, they would want to raise their voice, but you have banned that also. How will this work?”