Srinagar, Jan 7: Apologising for her ‘toffee-milk’ remark, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti Monday said that she won’t visit the militant families if their sentiments are hurt, while asking youth to join the party since it is “free of garbage now”.
“I was in anger in 2016 when I told why the children are being pushed to police stations and army camps. It pains me that some people with vested interests are pushing young boys to get killed,” Mehbooba told a gathering on the 3rd death anniversary of her father late Mufti Sayeed at Bijbehara in south Kashmir on Monday.
“I am concerned like a mother about the young people who are getting killed. Was it not my right to make such remarks? I saved south Kashmir youth from the task force and the army. If any one feels bad, I apologise for that,” she said.
During the peak of 2016 summer uprising, Mehbooba, while addressing a press conference in Srinagar along with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, justified the killing of youth saying that “had they gone to camps and police station to buy toffees and milk?.”
On the criticism she received for visiting families of militants, Mehbooba said that she did not go to them on her own.“I was invited by the family of the militant whose sister was harassed. I did not visit for electoral gains but a girl was being harassed there and it was question of her honor,” she said.
Mehbooba said she wanted to send across a message that the families of the militants should not be harassed. “If somebody does not want me to visit militant families, then I won’t go, but my doors are open for you. I will continue to work for the welfare of my people.”
She said that she did not allow the forces to harass militant families when she was heading the PDP-BJP government.“I even transferred a senior police officer for harassing a militant family,” she said.
Mehbooba has been criticised for lately visiting militant families .
In a purported audio message gone viral on Sunday, Hizb Commander, Riyaz Naikoo, asked people to “not let Mehbooba Mufti enter houses of martyred militants.”
Mehbooba, during her father’s death anniversary, said that leaders who are now leaving her party were the same who visited Nagpur after the death of Mufti Sayeed and “weakened” her position.
“Jammu and Kashmir youth shall join the PDP in the interest of the Kashmir issue. The PDP is now free of garbage,” she said, referring to the leaders who left the party in the recent past.
The PDP chief said that she was “not ready” to form the government after the death of her father.
“I wanted the BJP to fulfill some promises it had made including return of power projects, and vacating army from places like Tattoo Ground. But some went to Nagpur for government formation and weakened my position. Had I not formed the government, they might have sold the whole state and the people would have blamed me,” she claimed.
Mehbooba added that had she compromised the interests of JK, then the PDP-BJP government might have completed six-years.
“We withdrew 12,000 cases against youth. I did not compromise on Kathua case and dropped two ministers. I knew it too will have Shopian incident fate if it was handed over to the CBI. We pushed for talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat and held ceasefire for a month,” she said.
Mehbooba said her government was “not responsible” for 2016 unrest. “Burhan Wani was killed and militants are even getting killed today. What was my fault,” she said. “In 2010, there was a reason for anger against fake Machil encounter,” she said.
Asking New Delhi to hold talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat, she said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “wasted the huge mandate he had got”.