Allying with BJP was a cup of poison, drank it out of compulsion: Mehbooba
Srinagar, July 28: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President, Mehbooba Mufti, on Saturday said she did not “compromise” during her tenure as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a gathering on the party’s 19th foundation day at SK Park, here, Mehbooba said, “My two years were a constant struggle. Some vested interests always created problems in the name of Article 370 and 35- A. We had to defend them in the Supreme Court, while I received news about killings in Kashmir daily.”
“My face always wore a gloomy expression due to daily struggles.”
“I drank this cup of poison out of compulsion. I swear on Allah. My politics would start and end with my father. That is the reason why I was not ready to form the government when he (Mufti Sayeed) left this world,” she said.
Mehbooba said that she took three months to form the government because she was no ready.
“I had not thought that I would be become Chief Minister. I was thinking of my father’s agenda how to give respite to JK people and take them out (of this morass),” she said.
Mehbooba said that she formed the government at the insistence of the workers, senior leaders and legislators. “The workers and the senior leaders at that time told me that it was Mufti Sahab’s decision and you have to drink this cup of poison,” she said.
Mehbooba said she met with the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, several times to initiate a dialogue with Pakistan and Hurriyat leaders.
Speaking to the gathering of about 3,000 party workers, the former chief minister said she told New Delhi to release Hurriyat leaders from NIA custody before Eid so that “peace will prevail in Kashmir”.
She urged New Delhi to hold dialogue with the Hurriyat leaders also, saying that the government of India should have a “positive mindset” to resolve the existing problems in the valley.
Taking credit for the ceasefire executed in Ramadan, she said it was PDP that took the initiative for the unilateral move accepted by New Delhi.
“I appeal to the centre to show a positive attitude towards Hurriyat and aim to bring them on the table for dialogue,” she said.
Elaborating on PDP’s role in the valley, the former chief minister said her father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who headed the state twice, was always in favour of dialogue with Pakistan.
“My father always made efforts to bring peace to the valley and that is why he pitched for dialogue with Pakistan. None of us had the authority to decide on that matter, yet we took steps like controlling the task force and revoking POTA to ease the lives of people,” Mehbooba pointed out.
She urged New Delhi to extend a hand of friendship to Pakistan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting, Imran Khan.
Khan, in his speech after victory in the elections, said it was time for the two countries to sit across the table and discuss Kashmir issue.
Mehbooba said she aligned with the BJP “only to take the people out of difficulties”.
“My workers may have differences with MLAs, ministers, or with me, but we were fighting to defend state’s special status and to stop killings. There are a lot of issue; we could not do much for the people due to several reasons,” she said.
Hitting at PDP founding member and Member Parliament Muzaffar Hussain Beigh, who claimed that corruption increased even in her tenure, she said, “We did complete transparency in recruitments. Our ministers did not indulge in corruption. Our ministers did not build any new houses.”
Among others, senior PDP leaders Muzaffar Hussain Beigh, Altaf Bukhari, Naeem Akhtar, Abdul Rehman Veeri, Basharat Bukahri, Haq Khan, Mehboob Beigh, Sartaj Madni, and Tasaduq Mufti attended the function.
However, the disgruntled leaders including Imran Raza Ansari, Abid Ansari, Javaid Beigh, and Mohammad Abbas Wani stayed away.
Former finance minister, Haseeb Drabu was also not present.