Mufti’s achievement was providing an alternative narrative in Kashmir: Mehbooba
SRINAGAR: Finance minister Haseeb Drabu said on Sunday that if the PDP-BJP government fails to deliver on the Agenda for Alliance, the “failure should be entirely ours”.
The Agenda for Alliance (AA) was formulated by Drabu and BJP leader Ram Madhav as a roadmap for the PDP-BJP coalition government led by late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed who had called the much-criticised coalition as a an alignment between north pole and south pole.
“Every word of the Agenda for Alliance was crafted, not written, and every single sentence of it was examined. We people of his (late Mufti’s) party have to carry forward his legacy and if we are not able to deliver on that, the failure should be entirely ours, and the loss shall be of the state and the country,” said Drabu.
Drabu was speaking at a function where J&K Cultural Academy released special English and Urdu editions of ‘Sheeraza’ journal on Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. It was attended by Governor NN Vohra, Chief Minister (CM) Mehbooba Mufti, other ministers and family members of the CM.
“For BJP-PDP alliance Mufti sahib was keen that it should happen. In the three-and-half-months of intense negotiations, I would report to him every night… On phone I would tell him that I had achieved this thing… he would tell me (about the) next (thing) and not talk about the achievement,” Drabu said.
“For me he was a political sufi,” Drabu added.
Drabu recalled how Mufti trusted him in drafting the AA.
“On 27 February 2015 at 11 in the night I could not respond to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his two colleagues over some issues in the draft (of AA). I told them to speak directly to Mufti Sahab… On phone, sir (Mufti Sayeed) told me he has man there (Drabu), let him talk. Next day, on phone, sir told me to stay there (in Delhi). A day later it (AA) was signed,” Drabu said.
In her speech, Mehbooba said her father would make sure that every word, every comma of the Agenda for Alliance should be deliberate upon.
“Today, we are sure that there is no other solution. How long will we fight with each other? How long will we kill a Kashmiri? How long will our kids bear the brunt of this trouble? There is no other way and if not today, the tomorrow, it has to happen (implementation of the AA),” she added.
She said that her late father had full confidence that the AA which talks about AFSPA, retrieving of land, power projects and dialogue is the only solution to Jammu and Kashmir and that there is no other option.
“When he decided to align with BJP it was a difficult decision. Someone who knew that his health was not good, he would take an easy path to become a chief minister and not take such a difficult decision. But it was his conviction that to take J-K out of the morass, we need someone in the country who has power and on the basis of that power take forward Vajpayee’s agenda. Otherwise, he would have become the chief minister anyways,” she added.
Mehbooba said the biggest contribution of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to the polity of the state was to develop an alternative narrative so that the voices of dissent are heard and respected.
“He believed in true democracy. He saw democracy in India and his wish was to see that example of democracy in Kashmir. He gave his whole life for helping the democracy flourish in the state. In a democracy every issue is settled through dialogue. Sayeed was a man, a messenger of peace. He did not like confrontation,” she said.
“I think Pakistan’s weakness was that democracy did not flourish there. Had democracy flourished there, then that country would have perhaps gone much forward,” she added.