Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti has been invited to address the prestigious global leaders' conference at the US-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, for her contribution in building bridges between communities and regions in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mehbooba is the first woman president of a major political party in Jammu and Kashmir in the state's history. She is the first-ever political leader from this state to have been invited for the conference, which will deliberate on the theme: "Confronting what divides us"- an obvious reference to the dangerous tension that has built up between the United States and World's Muslim states and communities today.
The glimpses of these tensions were visible in Tuesday's State of the Union Address of President George Bush before the Democrat-dominated Congress.
The Conference organised by the Brookings Project on US Relations with the Islamic World in collaboration with the Saba Center for Middle East Policy, will be held from February 17 to 19.
She will be among the top leaders, thinkers and top political leaders at the conference, which in the past has been attended and addressed by the likes of former US President Bill Clinton, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and Prince Hasan of Jordan.
Mehbooba has made a niche for herself in the Kashmir politics for highlighting the plight of common Kashmiris, particularly women and children. Of late she has been in the forefront of the campaign to bring about regional, religious and ethnic reconciliation, both in economic and political aspirations of the people of the state.
She had spoken on the theme of reconciliation and Islam to be seen in its true perspective by the world at a conference on Middle-East in Cairo in November last year.
Being a woman leader in the top slot of politics in Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim majority state of India, Mehbooba received several invites to attend the world conferences in the United States, Pakistan and European countries, but she finds herself more comfortable with her "own people" in the state.
A spokesman of the PDP underlining the importance of the annual dialogue, said it has become the "premiere convening body for American and Muslim world leaders in the fields of politics, business, media, academia, science, arts, and civil society."
"The conference serves as a platform to convene and catalyze positive action towards the challenges facing the Muslim world," the spokesman noted.
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