People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the youth of Kashmir, who, she said, were either picking up guns or indulging in violent protests.
"Young graduates are picking up guns. A 14 or 15-yr youth picks up stones... What should be do? Should we kill them? These are our own youth and it's our nation," Mehbooba said at a party convention in Jammu.
Officials say so far this year, nearly 40 youth from Kashmir Valley have joined militant ranks. The PDP convention was the party's first in Jammu district after it formed an alliance with the BJP.
The PDP president said chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had taken a "crucial and important" decision to form an alliance with the BJP, saying he wanted to respect the mandate given by the people of the Jammu.
"We could have formed the government with any party, including the Congress, and it could have been government of Kashmir only. But Mufti Sayeed respected the mandate of the Jammu. The people of Jammu should also understand his vision and make it successful," Mehbooba said.
BJP had won 25 out of the 37 assembly seats in Jammu region.
Mehbooba said in 2002, when PDP was in alliance with the Congress, Mufti Sayeed worked with the then PM AB Vajpayee and the level of violence came down and talks were held with the separatists. "But when Mufti was not the CM and BJP was out of the power, the process of talks and peace with the Pakistan and separatists was derailed," she said.
Mehbooba also slammed the previous government headed by National Conference chief Omar Abdullah, saying its only achievement was the flourishing "trade of contracts".
"Everything was given on contract," she alleged. "A college building of 10 rooms was built at a cost of `12 crores, and in another instance the foundation of a college premises was laid at a cost of `3 crores." Mehbooba Mufti said the government will not fill its pockets and everything will be spent on development. People will see the change, she added.
TV channels playing it 'wrong'
Mehbooba said TV channels were showing either the negative image of Kashmir or the war mongering. "If about two or three ISIS flags are raised (by some youth), the TV channels play it for two or three days. If there is tension along the border, a few generals from here and from Pakistan debate it on TV and indulge in warmongering," she said.
Mehbooba said this year Amarnath yatris trapped in floods were rescued by locals "but no TV channel showed it".
"In J&K also there is lot of corruption. Politicians and officers have made record of corruption and land-grabbing, but there is no debate about it. This aspect should also be debated," she added.