Mehbooba wants guns to fall silent
'Violence begets violence'. Time has come for the guns to fall silent, says Mehbooba, reports Faisul Yaseen.india Updated: Jan 24, 2007 14:14 IST
Coalition ally Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti wants Pakistan President Parvez Musharaff to convenience the terrorist leadership to initiate a unilateral ceasefire, which she said New Delhi would reciprocate.
"When Vajpayee ji was the Prime Minister he called for a unilateral ceasefire but that didn't bear fruit as the terrorist groups didn't abide by it. It was when the terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen called for a ceasefire in 2000 positive results were borne with New Delhi responding in a positive manner," Mehbooba said talking exclusively to Hindustan Times at her official residence in Jammu.
"Violence begets violence. Time has come for the guns to fall silent," said Mehbooba, 47, the Member of Parliament from south Kashmir.
She wants both New Delhi and the terrorist to go for a bilateral ceasefire, at least for sometime.
"Let's give peace a chance," Mehbooba said welcoming the changed approach of moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who in a statement in Islamabad said guns had only filled graveyards in Kashmir.
Critical of previous successive National Confernece government's in the state, Mehbooba, daughter of former union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, said, "It was during our government that the draconian laws like POTA have gone.
People who used to come to us for seeking safety from State Task Force, surrendered terrorists and troops, now come with applications for jobs and requests for providing cricket fields in their areas."
She tried to clear that PDP never promised government job to the people before assuming power. "We had mentioned an employment opportunity to at least one member of a family not a government job.
Not being able to provide those doesn't mean we aren't honest. We're working on it," Mehbooba said.
On the differences of senior party leaders like Muzaffar Hussain Beig and Ghulam Hassan Mir with the party high command, Mehbooba said PDP is now a happy house.
She said given a chance PDP would like to open its office in Muzaffarabad. "Why not?" Mehbooba said adding that in the party's Political Affairs Committee meeting a few days back it was decided to urge New Delhi and Islamabad to frequently organise joint assembly sessions for politicians across the LoC.
Being the topmost women leader in the state, Mehbooba also wants to play a role for the womenfolk. "Whenever I get a chance to interact with foreign NGOs, I tell them to at least train the girls here and help them generate employment.
We're looking for a 100 per cent education guarantee for the women here and Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra has already assured providing hassle free loans to the women in the state," she said.
Known more for her explosive speeches, Mehbooba loves light music and is choosy about the music, which plays in her car while on a drive and at home. "I love all kinds of light music, be it Gazals or Kashmiri music. I also like Bollywood Hindi music but only the songs of the Yore," said Mehbooba.
Though she prefers spending time chatting with her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and her grandmother, like most politicians she is also a news buff. But the movies on the HBO satellite channel move her most.
First Published: Jan 24, 2007 14:14 IST