Killing doesn''t mean healing touch policy has failed: PDP
21 December 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Pampore: Thousands of people today bid a tearful farewell to slain PDP MLA Abdul Aziz Mir at his native village of Konibal as the ruling party dismised the suggestion that the killing meant a failure to its healing touch programme. ''It (the killing of Mir) does not mean that the healing touch programme has failed ... If we want to put out a fire, there is a chance that we may burn our fingers,'' PDP vice president Mehbooba Mufti, who had come here to visit the bereaved family, told reporters. Asked if the militants had spurned the offer of peace, she said the party will continue with its policy of persuasion for a meaningful dialogue. Several top leaders of the State including Housing and Urban Development Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir and Rural Development Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed and MLAs attended the funeral of Mir, which was delayed by more than 24 hours as the family was awaiting the return of his daughter and son-in-law from Delhi. Defending the party MLAs’ policy of interacting with the crowds at public places, the Urban Development Minister denied that there was a security lapse in Mir’s killing. ''Former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were killed despite heavy security. We are on a mission to nurse the wounds of the common man and there are chances of attacks but we will continue,'' he said. The minister said though it seems that militants had not paid attention to Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s call to lay down arms, the offer was still open as Kashmir issue cannot be solved by guns but through a dialogue process. Thousands of people from the Pampore constituency of the State Assembly, which was represented by Mir, gathered at his residence ever since the news of his death broke out. They demanded a probe into the killing and blamed State Police for its failure to protect the MLA. Mir’s supporters, especially the women-folk, also requested Mehbooba Mufti to give the party ticket to one of his children when by-elections, expected to be within four months, to the segment are held. Thousands of people who thronged from various districts of the Valley especially Pulwama district from the morning, attended the ‘Nimaz-i-Jinaza’. Earlier, PDP leader and MLA Mtr. Mahbooba Mufti who alongwith family members of the deceased MLA arrived from Delhi. She condemned the killing of the MLA. Expressing sympathies with the mourners, she said that Government would take allout efforts to nab the culprits. Meanwhile, Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Pradesh Congress chief Ghulam Nabi Azad have expressed grief over the killing of the legislator. They conveyed their sympathies with the bereaved family through Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayed.