Shun silence, protect Jammu and Kashmir’s identity, Mehbooba Mufti urges voters - Hindustan Times
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Shun silence, protect Jammu and Kashmir’s identity, Mehbooba Mufti urges voters

ByAshiq Hussain, Srinagar
Apr 21, 2024 06:50 AM IST

Mehbooba Mufti’s younger colleague and the party’s Srinagar constituency candidate, Waheed-ur-Rehman Para, meanwhile, urged youth to use their vote as a referendum

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday raised the pitch for protecting Jammu and Kashmir’s identity and resources during a campaign rally for the Lok Sabha polls.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti addressing the public during a roadshow in Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir. (PTI)
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti addressing the public during a roadshow in Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir. (PTI)

Mufti’s younger colleague and the party’s Srinagar constituency candidate, Waheed-ur-Rehman Para, meanwhile, urged youth to use their vote as a referendum and voice their unhappiness with the Centre.

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Mufti, who is contesting from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat, held a road show in south Kashmir’s Pahalgam, urging people to thwart attempts being made to “finish” Jammu and Kashmir’s special identity.

“We tried to walk together but they didn’t agree. Today Kashmiris should have been united. What will going separate do? Now we will have to move ahead and we have to talk about youth who are in jails. We have to protect our land, jobs and power against those who are ready to pounce on them,” she said.

“My voice has no value unless you raise your voices with me. Silence is not an option,” the former chief minister (CM) added.

Without directly elucidating the revocation of Article 370, Mufti said that people have to show courage to get back what was snatched from them.

“At one point, you thought that POTA and Task Force or Ikhwan would never end but that was ended by Mufti Mohammad Sayed. Today you feel that we have lost everything and we can’t get anything back but we have to show courage and we will get everything back along with interest,” she said.

Mufti talked about the local issues like ration, power and unemployment in J&K.

“We have to raise our voice against that. From 200, the power bill has shot up to 2,000. Ration is not provided enough, there is highest unemployment in J&K but the biggest issue of all is our identity,” she said.

Para, meanwhile, hit the campaign trail in Shalteng. “We want the people of Kashmir to not consider this election less than a referendum. Your vote should become your referendum and there is a need to send a message to New Delhi that you should not take Kashmir’s silence as its happiness. People are silent but they are not happy with you,” he said.

Parra said people were silent as the future of youth was uncertain. “People are scared. They are unable to distinguish where they will be safe or where they will face fear. My appeal to Srinagar youth, who can set a trend, the issue is not of winning or losing. The issue is whether we can send a message to New Delhi that people of Kashmir are not happy with you and we fear for our land, our contracts, our sand, our pebbles and our identity,” he said.

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