February 2016 News

Mehbooba Mufti Hints At Forming J&K Govt With BJP

21 February 2016
The Indian Express
Bashaarat Masood

Srinagar: Dropping hints that the PDP is ready to form the state government with the BJP, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said her father, late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, believed only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can 'do something' for reconciliation between India and Pakistan, and she has faith in her father's decision. 'I have belief in Allah and then on the decision of Mufti sahib,' Mehbooba said while addressing a party convention in Srinagar on Sunday. 'Whatever decision is taken would be in the interest of the state, in the interest of our country, and to make J&K a bridge (between India and Pakistan).' This was Mehbooba's first public address since Mufti's demise on January 7. Defending Mufti's decision to join hands with the BJP to form a coalition government in the state, she told party workers: 'New Delhi doubts us as much we doubt New Delhi, (and) this suspicion will not vanish on its own. To remove this suspicion, Mufti-sahib took a big decision. This was a big sacrifice. He didn't think of himself, he didn't think of his party. He thought only about the people. Who does such as thing in these times?' Emphasising that the Modi government has the mandate to achieve more than its predecessors, the PDF chief said, 'When Mufti-sahib made the (state) government with the BJP, he thought that if you can convince a leader who has come with such a (huge) mandate that India and Pakistan's reconciliation is important to take Jammu and Kashmir out of this mess, he can do something because he has the power (numbers in Parliament) at his back.' Not committing totally even as talks are going on with the BJP, Mehbooba said PDP will be ready to form the government only if it feels that Mufti's dreams can be fulfilled. 'The (CM's) chair is not our destination,' she said. 'It is worth it (only) if we feel that by sitting on it we can fulfill the dream of Mufti-sahib; if you get comfort; if there is peace in Jammu and Kashmir; and if Jammu and Kashmir becomes a bridge between India and Pakistan.' The usual separatist tone was missing in her speech on Sunday, and she openly praised Mufti's pro-integration views. Later, asked by the media whether there was any movement forward on government formation, Mehbooba said, 'That is something only time can tell.'