Srinagar: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said that there was no fear in J&K as it was during the National Conference regimes in past.
In her closing remarks during obituary references motion in J&K Legislative Assembly, Mehbooba Mufti said that democracy was “battle of ideas”.
“The furore in this house is beauty of democracy,” she told the house, “and it (democracy) has kept India moving ahead at a faster pace amongst its neighbours.”
Expressing dismay over the killings in Kashmir, the Chief Minister asserted that dialogue was the only way forwards. However, she regretted as why the resistance leadership refused to meet the All Party Delegation led by India’s home minister Rajnath Singh in 2016 when Kashmir was up in arms against the state.
“I had written (to APHC) as PDP president,” she said referring to her letter to Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Jama’at-e-Islami and Muhmmad Yasin Malik inviting them to hold talks with All Party Delegation led by Rajnath Singh. “But I am CM (while being PDP president).”
She related the prevailing situation in Kashmir with “death of democracy in past”.
“Because democracy was killed, situation has turned violent,” she said.
“There would have been no Syed Salah ud Din, Yasin Malik if 1987 elections were not rigged,” she repeated. “See, Muhammad Yousuf Shah issues directions (to militants) from Pakistan now.”
Maintaining that the J&K Legislature was empowered house amongst all states of India, she said, “it is because of this democracy that Er Rasheed (MLA Langate) can make long speeches.”
“There is no house which has such tolerace,” she added.
“Ye museebat democracy kay qatal ki badaulat hai (this situation has arised because democracy was not given space),” she told the lawmakers addressing the opposition benches.
Reminding National Conference members as how villagers would flee their homes when any encounter would take place during their tenure in late 1990s and early 2000, the CM Mehbooba said, “there is no fear now. 14-year-old goes and throws a stone near an encounter site.”
A 14-year-old boy was shot dead by Indian armed forces on Friday when people tried to disrupt a military operation against militants in Arwani area of Kulgam district. The deceased was identified as Ehsan Mushtaq.
On why no dialogue is being initiated by government of India (GoI) with all stakeholders, Mehbooba Mufti asked the NC members as why they failed during their term to hold talks (with Hurriyat Conference).
“You too were in government, why did not Delhi start dialogue,” she questioned as the NC members remained silent.
“Yes, there was a time when dialogue was held and that was under PM Atal Ji.”
On why unilateral ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) was not announced by GoI, Mehbooba Mufti reminded the NC of a statement made by former CM Farooq Abdullah.
“Get them and put them in jails,” she quoted Farooq as having ordered his then DG Police in 1990s regarding pro-freedom people. “The jails were already full.”
“It was Farooq Abdullah who opposed talks with Pakistan when he openly said that he will rebel against India if dialogue started,” she added.
She said that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who initiated hand of friendship with Pakistan. “It was PM Modi who went to Pakistan.”
“Dr Manmohan tried a lot but he could not go (as PM),” she said.
“But unfortunately the Pathankote attack happened,” she said as why dialogue with Pakistan stopped.
However, Mehbooba, observed, “it takes time to change and now time has come when you all now want dialogue.”
“It has been our agenda, our party’s foundation that dialogue should happen,” she said. “But we need to get united.”
“guns and army can’t solve issues. Dialogue is the way forward, only way out”
The Chief Minister told the house that guns and army can’t solve issues. “Dialogue is the way forward, only way out.”
“If we can unite,” she said addressing the opposition lawmaker, “we can get it (dialogue) done.” “We should put our heads together to take it as a common cause.”
On extension of central GST law to J&K state, she said that her government wanted to debate it in assembly.
“Let people know what it is,” she said. “We want to empower this house.”
The governor N N Vohra has called a special session of J&K Legislative Assembly to discuss the extension of central Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
However, the PDP-BJP government is facing a stiff resistance from National Conference and Congress while the joint resistance leadership termed the law as a plan “to cripple economy of J&K”.