Mehbooba calls for dialogue with Pak
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said there was “no place for democracy” under its government.
“There is no place for real democracy in BJP’s India. They want to create their own ecosystem. They have their own puppets and B-teams whom they want to install here and that is why they are making so many efforts for DDC elections,” she told reporters a day after the first phase of the first District Development Council elections in the Union territory.
Mufti’s PDP and the National Conference have formed the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration to work for the restoration of Article 370, which was nullified last year, along with other regional parties. The constituents of PAGD are jointly contesting the DDC polls, the first elections being held in the erstwhile state since the effective revocation of its special status and bifurcation into two Union territories, J&K and Ladakh.
The former CM said elections were not the solution to the problems of the region. Instead, she added, the government should hold a dialogue with the people of J&K, and Pakistan.
“Election is no solution to Kashmir problem but I am happy that people are voting and saying that India and Pakistan should talk. And talks should happen,” she said.
“Despite China taking so much of our land, we are talking to them. It is now 10 rounds of talks with them,” Mufti said, referring to military and diplomatic talks being held with China in the wake of a standoff at along the Line of Actual Control in the eastern Ladakh sector.
“And on the other hand, people are dying on our borders, on both the sides, why not talk to Pakistan? Is it about (Pakistan) being a Muslim country that there is no dialogue? Because everything is communal now; Sardar is a Khalistani, Muslim is a Pakistani and Kashmiri is a terrorist,” the PDP chief said.
“How many people participate in the elections has got nothing to do with Kashmir issue. The Kashmir issue is there, it is going to be there as long as there is no resolution through dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and Pakistan,” she said.
Reacting to Mufti’s allegations, J&K BJP chief Ravinder Raina said, “The people of J&K have rejected the Gupkar Gang... There is a wave in favour of BJP in the ongoing DDC elections. Mehbooba Mufti is distraught owing to the verve of BJP activists, particularly youth. She has been rejected by the people...”
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