From reviewing the army’s special powers act to the alliance with the BJP, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti speaks on a range of issues. Excerpts:
Review of AFSPA is one of the main points of your agenda of alliance with the BJP. But there has been no progress on it. Does the BJP oppose it?
It will take some time. You need to build a conducive atmosphere in the state so that the government in Delhi has enough confidence that now it is the police that can take over from the army…. But when it comes to implementation, anybody who talks about it becomes anti-national.
Your party leaders claim the alliance with the BJP has given the party a foothold in Kashmir?
In a democratic process, no one gives anybody a foothold…. It is the people who do it. (My father) took (the decision) in the interest of future generations, with a vision, and he believes he would be able to deliver both on economic and governance fronts. He went against the tide. Naturally, there are leaders who think about electoral politics.
Post Bihar elections, there have been calls within your party for snapping ties with BJP.
Bihar election reiterates the greatness of this country, tolerance and mindset of the people that they don’t believe in communalism, in getting carried away by religious sentiments. They want good governance but they also want a sense of security. I presume everybody has learnt a lesson from it.
Former CM Omar Abdullah said PM Narendra Modi snubbed your father with his remarks that he doesn’t need advice or analysis on Kashmir.
I don’t want to get into it. As far as J&K is concerned, we are directly impacted when there is a war or bad relations with Pakistan. My father has always had this line that we need to have a dialogue with Pakistan.
When are you going to take over as CM from your father?
I don’t think about it. It’s not a very comfortable question for me. I don’t want to answer it.