In no hurry to don Dad’s hat
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]P[/dropcap]eoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed on Saturday said Islamic State (IS) terrorists were not a threat to Kashmir and all the waving of the IS flags in the Valley was nothing but a publicity stunt aimed at getting media attention.
Speaking at “Agenda Aaj Tak” conclave on Saturday, Mehbooba also frowned upon the activities of “communal” fringe in the country and said no one has any right to decide what to eat and what to wear.
“IS does not represent Islam, they are killings Muslims, and preaching to commit atrocities… Islam in Kashmir is different. It teaches to live with neighbors in peace. The IS will never be a threat to Kashmir. Those raising the IS flags in the Valley do not even know what IS really is. They just want publicity… I urge the media to ignore them and isolate them. They are the one who do not want peace to prevail,” she said.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]hile talking about the leadership issue in Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba said her father was doing an excellent job as Chief Minister and she was in no hurry to replace him. “I will become (CM) when the time comes,” she said, adding, Mr. Sayeed was busy in pushing the development agenda in the state and also wants peace and trade with Pakistan.
“Peace with Pakistan is in bigger interest of Jammu and Kashmir as it would boost trade and development in the state. Our alliance with BJP, though a difficult one, is solely focused on development and growth of the state…The alliance’s agenda is bigger,” she added.
Welcoming India’s decision to resume dialogue with Pakistan, Mehbooba said: “Why are we afraid of talking to Pakistan or about Kashmir? As former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said we cannot change our neighbors, so we should strive to bridge the gap and build bridges of peace. Kashmir is directly impacted with Indo-Pak relations… I am happy that talks have restarted. As the bigger nation, India needs to make that extra effort,” she added.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]he blamed Congress and National Conference governments post 2005 when PDP was voted out of power for not leveraging on peace efforts that were initiated by her father in his previous terms. “A window of opportunity was created by my father, but all that has been wasted. As a result, we are back to square one and have to work again to bring peace to the state. Let us make Jammu and Kashmir a Gateway of India from where we can open trade routes to not only Pakistan and Afghanistan but to entire central Asia,” she added.
Terming the entire debate on the food habits and personal choices of people as “unfortunate”, Mehbooba said India is a unique nation with unity in diversity as it core strength. “There are some fringe elements who combine pseudo Hinduism with nationalism and that is where the problem lies… All this discourse is sickening. All religions have contributed in India’s growth where Hinduism has taught us to be tolerant,” she said.
She also noted that to abuse Hurriyat Conference cannot be a benchmark of patriotism. She also hoped that displaced Pandits will soon return to the Valley and that the state government was working to make it possible.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]P[/dropcap]raising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for curbing corruption at the Center, she said everyone in Delhi’s powers of corridors knows how “liaison officers” fixed deals in hotels. All that has stopped and it as big achievement of the current government, she noted. Mehbooba also hoped that all “black laws” like the AFSPA that have been implemented in the state will soon be removed. She also praised the Indian Army for its role in the reconstruction and development work in the state.
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