Mehbooba Mufti hits out at J&K separatists, says 'don't need to justify PDP's alliance with BJP'

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday slammed separatists for attempting to rake up unnecessary controversies over Article 370 of the Constitution while making it clear that dialogue with them can take place only after situation improves.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 22, 2016, 20:43 PM IST
Mehbooba Mufti hits out at J&K separatists, says 'don't need to justify PDP's alliance with BJP'

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday slammed separatists for attempting to rake up unnecessary controversies over Article 370 of the Constitution while making it clear that dialogue with them can take place only after situation improves.

CM Mufti also targetted them for not taking up issues of protection of people or talking about harassment of girls and women in society or focussing on environmental degradation.

The Jammu and Kashmir CM, without taking anybody's name in her speech, hit out further on separatists and said that she did not need to justify her party's alliance with the BJP everytime as it was her late father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's decision.

"For me, this decision is engraved in stone. Sayeed (Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) has always taken difficult decisions during his 60-year career and he did not make U-turns. If we are in such a situation, it is due to the constant U-turns of some leaders," she said, targeting the opposition.

"I am surprised that (Muslim) preachers talk so big about Article 370 (in their sermons). What is Article 370? It is of significance only if we are at peace," Mehbooba said in the Assembly while replying to a debate on demand for grants for departments under her charge.

The Chief Minister said it was the endeavour of her government to provide good governance with accountability along with a sustained political process.

"If we give only good governance without political process or a political process without good governance, it will not work. We have to do both simultaneously but for that you have to give us some time," she said.

"There are so many challenges on political, security, development, economic and administrative fronts confronting Jammu and Kashmir. We will have to provide not just good governance, but ensure proactive and pro-people governance to address the enormous challenges confronting the state," Mehbooba added.

In an apparent reference to Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is the chief priest of Kashmir and gives sermons after Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid, the Chief Minister said it was not for the preachers to look after the special provisions of the Constitution with regard to the state but for the mainstream political parties of the state.

"What are they talking about safeguarding Article 370... They are looking for something else. It is we (pointing towards MLAs) who have to protect it. It is our shared inheritance and nothing in it will change," she said.

Mehbooba said the preachers do not talk about harassment of women and girls in the society nor do they mention enviromental degradation in their sermons.

"I also belong to the family of preachers. We have to strive for protecting the environment and the water bodies. For years, we dumped our garbage in River Jhelum and it retaliated by dumping it back in our homes for 10 days (by floods). But we still did not learn any lessons," she said.

(With inputs from PTI)