February 2016 News

Peace, Honour, Prosperity; Not Chair My Priority: Mehbooba

28 February 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: People's Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti, today said that chair is not her priority but will take decision (on Government formation) keeping in mind the honour, welfare, peace and prosperity of the State. While addressing party workers after starting membership drive of the party in Anantnag district today, Mehbooba said that she does not need such a chair where people can't reap its benefits and where there is no role for bringing peace to the State. 'Today if I have taken any step, it is not that I want to become something big. If we form Government, people should get benefitted. It is not that (I want) I will become a Chief Minister, there would be Ministers and we will have a fleet of cars with four flags. But, when the people of the State, its youth or its regions do not reap any benefits of that (Government), and when we cannot play a role in bringing peace here, then tell me what will I do with that chair. I don't need such a chair', the PDP president said. Mehbooba said that she is not afraid of taking decision. 'Whatever decision we will take, it will not be for worker but it will be for the people. We will take the decision for the honour, welfare and prosperity of the people. I will take that decision and am not afraid of what this person or that person will say. If intention is good, God helps', she said. The PDP president said peace cannot be restored in the region until India and Pakistan stop confrontation and the danger to the sustenance of peace is the biggest challenge for her party. 'Peace cannot be sustained until both the nations stop the confrontation and sit together and respect each other. Nothing can be achieved by suspecting each other,' she said. 'I have said it repeatedly that National Conference or Congress is not the challenge for me or my party, but the biggest challenge is the danger to the peace the basis of which was laid by Mufti sahib in November 2002, the basis of Indo-Pak friendship, the ceasefire on borders and opening of roads (on Line of Control),' said Mehbooba. The PDP president said the challenge is thousands of educated youth who are unemployed and some of whom are picking up guns. 'Our challenge is our resources. The EDI building on which crores of rupees were spent was destroyed a few days ago (in an encounter with militants at Pampore),' she said. Mehbooba said that her father formed Government with the help of BJP in the State for peace and bring the State out of morass. 'My property is you, the workers of the party, who followed Mufti Sahib and sacrificed their lives. I can't promise you that I will form the Government tomorrow and will employ your children. I don't know that. My priority is your honour and the honour of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Power was not my father's motto. His every decision was aimed at welfare of the people. He wanted to bring out Kashmir out of morass. It was said that why did you go with BJP as it was easy to go with Congress. Mufti sahib thought that if we have to achieve anything we have to go with them. He thought BJP Government is at Centre and they also got mandate in Jammu and if we start fighting against each other and if Jammu remains in opposition what kind of peace we can bring to this place. His intention was right', she said. The PDP president said that governance initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir would be productive only when these are complemented by enabling political and economic measures aimed at addressing complex challenges confronting the State. 'Jammu and Kashmir is not about governance alone, the State is entangled in assorted political and economic complexities both on internal and external fronts, which need to be tackled with resolve through holistic measures to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the State,' said Mehbooba. The PDP president said that for the first time a real and coordinated effort was put in by the State and Central Governments in J&K, both on internal and external fronts, between 2002 and 2005 and it had a visible impact on the ground. 'At that time most of the political pundits had expressed cynicism over the enterprise of hope piloted by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, but Jammu and Kashmir had, after going through a long era of turmoil, started witnessing real peace and progress during that golden era with every section of the society contributing towards peace and reconciliation efforts', said Mehbooba. She said unfortunately the situation in the State started sliding back into uncertainty following the reversal of the development, resolution and reconciliation process set off between 2002 and 2005. PDP president said that PDP's alliance with Congress in 2002 and with BJP in 2015 was guided solely by the agenda of peace, development and reconciliation in Jammu and Kashmir. 'That was our challenge and that will remain so. If we really want to turnaround the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, we will have to not only involve Pakistan in a sustained dialogue but at the same time take some bold political and economic initiatives on the internal front to address the concerns of the State's people and do away with the past injustices done with them,' she said. 'Unless such measures are taken, no Government whether formed by PDP, NC, Congress or BJP is going to make any difference to the people especially at a time when alienation and cynicism has again started taking roots especially among the State's young population', said Mehbooba. The PDP president said gun and violence is no solution to any problem as the gory era of blood-shed has only brought death and destruction to the State leaving behind a trail of tragedies in almost every family. 'We have already seen almost a generation of youth falling prey to the senseless violence and I urge the gun-yielding youth to take cue from the accomplishments of their counterparts and make a mark in the academic and professional fields instead of falling prey to the machinations of the proponents of death and destruction,' she said. Senior PDP leaders Abdul Rehman Veeri, Mohammad Sartaj Madni and Peer Mohammad Hussain, General Secretaries Nizam-ud-Din Bhat and Rafi Ahmad Mir, Legislators Syed Mohammad Farooq Indrabi and Abdul Rahim Rather, chief spokesperson, Dr Mehboob Beg, District Coordinator South Kashmir, Sajad Mufti, District President Anantnag, Advocate Javaid Choudhary Zafar and PDP Youth Wing President, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra also addressed the convention. A large number of PDP workers including all the Zonal Presidents of district Anantnag were present.