Bijbehara: Addressing a gathering of several hundred party workers at Dara-Shikoh garden in Bijbehara, where her father lies buried, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday that her Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was standing in the way of a “huge storm” that looms over Kashmir.
“I don’t know whether people here in Kashmir realize this or not, but PDP is standing in the way of a huge storm. A storm you cannot even imagine the force of,” she said in a brief speech to party workers.
“Otherwise, you know the situation in the subcontinent and the whole world. We are fighting these circumstances by the alliance we have formed,” she said, referring to her party’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Mehbooba was accompanied by her brother and new Minister for Tourism, Tasadduq Mufti. Others by her side were senior party leaders including her uncle Sartaj Madani and Abdul Rehman Veeri, and senior police officials including ADGP Munir Khan.
The chief minister attended a brief prayer meet near the grave and laid flowers on her father’s grave before she addressed the waiting party workers for about 10 minutes.
In her speech, Mehbooba emphasised the importance of friendship between India and Pakistan.
“We have seen enough of bloodshed and it is only the Kashmiri people who are getting killed, be it in encounters, attacks or fidayeen attacks. The gun has yielded nothing else than filling our graveyards to the brim,” she said.
She “requested” the leadership in both countries to work towards lasting peace in the subcontinent. “Peace is only possible if India and Pakistan become friends,” she said, adding that her late father wanted Kashmir to become a “bridge of peace” rather than a “war zone”.
She assured her workers that they would be taken care of by her.
“Mufti sahib always told me that he did not get the time to work for the party workers. My workers should rest assured that they are my responsibility after Allah,” she said amid loud cheers from the workers.
On the occasion she also outlined the measures taken by her Government for the welfare of the people. She said she fulfilled the promise of withdrawal of cases against youth and regularisation of 60 thousand casual and daily rated workers and secured adequate financial assistance from the New Delhi which would change the developmental scenario in the State and create huge employment opportunities.