Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said elections are not irrelevant but their fight is to save the unique identity of Jammu and Kashmir.
“I do not say the elections are something bad or irrelevant. There is power in elections as well. But the fight we have waged is to save our identity. It (abrogation of Article 370) impacts every Kashmiri, every youth, and our next generation. So we have to be united to fight for saving our identity,” Mehbooba said while addressing the youth congregation at her residence.
Recalling her days when she contested her first election in 1996, Mehbooba said she jumped into the fray as the party was unable to find a candidate to contest from Bijbhera because the situation was very volatile.
“When I contested polls in 1996, the situation was very difficult. We could not find a candidate. I was in Delhi. Daddy (Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) told me will you contest? He said we are unable to find a candidate. My father wanted me to be a doctor, but I did not study,” she said.
Later, Mehbooba, who is also the vice president of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration told the media that their fight is not only for restoring Article 370 but resolving the Kashmir issue.
“I told the youth that this is not the fight only for restoring Article 370 but for finding a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue. I told them I will be at the forefront of this struggle. The same way when we fought against task force (SOG), surrendered militants and POTA. The youth will always find me at the forefront,” she said.
The former chief minister said post Article 370 abrogation, the Centre has issued many orders and passed many laws which are anti-people. “For instance, retiring government employees after 22 years of service or domicile law or land laws. All these laws and orders are anti-people and anti-Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.
Mehbooba’s remarks came five days after National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said the time for power-politics is over and all political parties have come together to fight for the restoration of Article 370.
Mehbooba’s statement came on the day when the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration rejected the statement of the official spokesman regarding October 26 MHA Order which allowed outsiders to buy land in J&K.
“The real object to repeal the basic land laws and massive amendments to the other laws are to implement the agenda of effecting demographic change and disempowering the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the alliance said.