Mehbooba says coalition with BJP was to end bloodshed

Mehbooba says coalition with BJP was to end bloodshed
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Urges Modi to respond to Imran Khan and initiate dialogue with Pakistan; asks pol parties to unite for safeguarding Article 35A

SHEIKH UZAIR

SRINAGAR: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said on Saturday that her party did not form government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for power but to “stop bloodshed”.
Mehbooba expressed these views while addressing party workers and the general public here at Sher-e-Kashmir Municipal Park at Residency Road on the party’s founding day. The event was attended by other senior party functionaries as well.
“I am baptised in this political environment and did not want power for the sake of bloodshed. Our motive is to stop this bloodbath in Kashmir. I never wanted power but I am fulfilling my father’s dream. Whatever we did, we did for the benefit of the people of Kashmir,” Mehbooba said.
She welcomed the recent statement of Imran Khan on Kashmir after he won a majority of seats in the recently held elections in Pakistan and advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “respond and initiate a dialogue with Pakistan”.
“I congratulate Imran Khan on his success and we welcome his statement on Kashmir. I wish him all good luck as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan,” she said.
While praising her party’s achievements during her rule in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba termed the Ramzan ceasefire as their “biggest achievement”.
“During my tenure, we regularised sixty one thousand daily wagers and did our best to fight corruption and eradicated the systemic corruption despite the unrest in the state,” Mehbooba said.
According to the former chief minister, Article 35A is a “challenge” to all political parties and we must fight for it together.
“Our motive is safeguarding Article 370 and Article 35A. All the parties should leave aside their differences and fight together to defend this article,” she added.
Mehbooba quoted a verse from the Quran to say that her party’s position right now was the “will of Allah”.
“Whatever is destined happens anyway, but we must fight this situation,” she said.
Senior party leader and Member of Parliament Muzaffar Hussain Beigh said in his address that the PDP is among one of the strongest political parties in the nation.
“It has been 19 years since the party was formed, and it was, is and will be in future, by the grace of Allah,” Beigh said. “We had made alliance with the BJP just to gain their trust in Muslims, otherwise we did not have any intention of power.”
According to the party, members from all over the Valley were present at the event, including from Ladakh and Karnah. The venue was thronged by people and party members in huge numbers.
The government had kept tight security measures and all roads leading to Sher-e-Kashmir Park were sealed with barricades and barbed wire.