From Modi's venue, Mufti vows to defend Kashmir's special status

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Dec 11, 2014 19:05 IST

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Srinagar's Sher-i-Kashmir Cricket Stadium, People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed chose the same venue for his poll war-cry saying "no force can change Kashmir's unique constitutional position".

"Mughals raided Kashmir but could not change our culture. We have thousands of years of history of inclusive culture called Kashmiriyat. We will preserve it come what may," said Sayeed on Thursday while holding his first rally for the upcoming polls in Srinagar on December 14.

The PDP also put in best efforts to come up with a good show at the same venue today.

Without mentioning Article 370 or referring to the BJP, the former chief minister pledged to uphold Kashmir's constitutional position within the Union of India. "Kashmir being only Muslim-majority state of India remains a fact. I (take) pledge on the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. I will safeguard the unique constitutional position of the state. We want to connect hearts and minds of people democratically. We are not divisive forces but a unifying factor," he added.

He said his party has emerged as a strong unifying force between regions and communities. "The party won't allow the divisive forces to cause any harm to the distinct identity of Jammu and Kashmir. If you want people of Jammu and Kashmir to get emotionally connected with the rest of the country, you can't do so by creating division between Kashmir and Jammu, saying one thing there and another thing here."

Mentioning the name of the prime minister, Sayeed said, "Modi ji has to become inclusive."

Claiming to have earned legitimacy for the democratic process in the 2002 assembly polls, Sayeed said, "Change is evident in Kashmir now. No grenade or bullet can work but dialogue. NATO is in Afghanistan for several years but had to take the route of dialogue."

He asked people of Srinagar "to join his mission for ending the political uncertainty and economic deprivation plaguing Jammu and Kashmir."

"Time has come for the emancipated voters of Srinagar to take stock of what this historic city stands for and what they want it to stand for in the future," he said.

Eight seats of Srinagar are crucial for the PDP to emerge as a single largest party.

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