Muscular policy won’t work in Kashmir, says Mehbooba

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti asserted on Tuesday that a muscular policy won’t work in the state and also ruled out any other alliance to form a government after the BJP quit the PDP-led alliance.

Addressing the media after submitting her resignation to Governor N.N. Vohra and after chairing a meeting of her party colleagues, Mehbooba Mufti outlined the successes of her PDP-BJP coalition government and warned against a “muscular policy”.

“We hold that a muscular policy cannot work in Jammu and Kashmir,” she said. “We cannot treat J&K as an enemy territory.”

But she did not spare the militants either.

“The ceasefire (of Ramadan) brought relief to people but unfortunately the other side (separatists) did not give a positive response and instead they wanted the ceasefire to end.”

The PDP leader said there was insecurity among the minorities in the country after the Modi government came to power in 2014.

“There were incidents of cow vigilantes. We dealt with these incidents with firmness and have tried to keep the three regions of the state together.

“Our workers suffered at the ground level. We made tireless efforts for reconciliation and dialogue and we will continue to do so in the future.”

The Chief Minister recalled that her father, the late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, forged an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after a lot of deliberations.

“It took us many months to work out an agenda of alliance based on reconciliation and dialogue. The BJP had support in the Jammu region and the PDP had support in the Valley.

“There was apprehension regarding Article 370 and the special status of the state. We protected Article 370 and Article 35A.”

She said 11,000 cases against youths were withdrawn, a ceasefire was announced and an offer of dialogue was made to the separatists.

Asked if she was shocked by the BJP’s sudden decision to pull out, she said: “Nothing has shocked me… We were offered support by the Congress and the NC, but we chose to align with the BJP for reconciliation and dialogue because this party held power in the country.

“Breaking the alliance is BJP’s prerogative and they have done it.”