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Open road link to Sharada Peeth in PaK: Mehbooba writes to PM Modi

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Srinagar, Dec 1: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief and former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has welcomed the opening up of Kartarpur corridor and has sought the opening of road link to SharadaPeeth, Hindu shrine, in Pakistan administered Kashmir, adding that “though it will be a measure specific to Pandit community but undoubtedly it would be welcomed by every citizen of Jammu and Kashmir.”

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mehbooba wrote: “I greet you on the opening up of Kartarpur corridor with Pakistan to facilitate the Sikh pilgrims visit to holly places in that country and hope it would be a new leaf in the painful history of India Pakistan relations and will be a first step towards rediscovering avenues of peace and prosperity.”

 

Saying that the PDP has always considered people to people contact between India and Pakistan as an important Confidence Building Measure (CBM) and has been repeatedly advocating reopening of traditional routes connecting India through Jammu and Kashmir with the world around it, Mehbooba told PM Modi: “The initiatives taken by government of India by former Prime Ministers have resulted in opening of Muzafarabad and Rawalakot roads, adding that “there potential is yet to be realized. The opening of Kartarpur corridor has granted yet another window of opportunity.”

Saying that SharadaPeeth in Pakistan administered Kashmir is an outstanding relic of Kashmir’s glowing history, PDP chief said, “Though It connects the people here with their cultural and intellectual routes, for the Kashmir Pandits it is an important place of pilgrimage which was frequented by them till independence. Their urge to open it to pilgrimage has been projected ever since Srinagar-Muzafarabad road. Kartarpur has encouraged the Pandit community to see a possibility of the pilgrimage to SharadaPeeth in the same spirit.

 

Allying with BJP: A ‘supreme sacrifice’ my father gave

Srinagar, Dec 1:  Peoples Democratic Party President, Mehbooba Mufti, on Saturday said her father gave a “supreme sacrifice” by joining hands with BJP for the “interests of Jammu and Kashmir”.

“Mufti Sahab took a tough decision by joining hands with BJP in 2014 for the interests of Jammu and Kashmir and to take the people out of difficulties. Hardly any leader in the country or across the world has given such a supreme sacrifice for the people,” Mehbooba told a New Delhi-based news channel in an interview.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) formed the alliance with BJP in 2014. However, the former Mehbooba-led government collapsed following BJP’s withdrawal of support on June 19.

The state has been under Governor Rule since then.

“We joined hands with BJP as per the need. Recently we (PDP, Congress and NC) joined together to protect the special status of the state.”

She said BJP tried to break other mainstream parties for government formation.

“I am not saying the prime minister did it, but there are a few leaders in BJP who made these efforts, forcing us to get together. In future we will contest the polls and will subsequently decide whether to make alliance with any party.”

She said PDP will have own manifesto based on which it would contest the polls.

“Our agenda has always been reconciliation, opening of new routes, and to make a suitable environment so that army is withdrawn from civilian areas and AFSPA is revoked.”

Calling for immediate rollback of the decision taken by Governor-led state administrative council (SAC) about the JK Bank, she said attempts were being made to take away the autonomy of institutions in the state.

“We have opposed the Governor’s decision. JK Bank is an asset for the state and its dilution is unjustified. JK people want more empowerment but New Delhi is snatching our assets from us. We also asked BJP to return at least two power projects to the state,” she said.

Her reaction came after the SAC approved the proposal for treating the J&K Bank Limited as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).

The bank has been brought under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) act, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) guidelines and the State Legislature.

About Peoples Conference Chairman, Sajad Lone, statement that National Conference and PDP not wanting third family rule in the state, she replied, “Why did not he form the government for five months if he had the support of legislators. My workers and leaders are dedicated to the party except two people who issue the statements. I have struggled since 1996, then became the chief minister of the state. Lone was elected PC chairman the next day his father was killed. I laid the foundation of the PDP along with workers and leaders. There is hardly any place in J&K where I haven’t been.”

She also praised the statement from the governor that had he looked towards Delhi for instructions, Sajad would have formed the government.

“If it is the fact, we appreciated the governor for listening to his conscience.”

In an interview to a national news magazine, she said PDP was formed with an agenda.

“An important element of the agenda on whose basis we allied with the BJP in 2015 was to

She said she was thinking of approaching the court against those who levelled allegations that grand alliance was a conspiracy of Pakistan.