Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said Kashmir's accession to India strengthened the secular credentials of the country and any attempt to revoke the special status given to the state would be an assault on the very idea of India.
"Jammu and Kashmir as the only Muslim majority state of the country is an asset that allows India stand out among the modern nation-states, and those who target its identity are not doing any service either to the country or to the state," Sayeed said addressing election rallies in Chrar-e-Sharief, Budgam and Chadoora Assembly constituencies.
Sayeed said certain forces in the country consider Jammu and Kashmir as the last frontier to be conquered, whether it is for ideological reasons or simple power politics.
He, however, cautioned that any attempt to fiddle with the state's pluralistic composition and distinct identity is fraught with dangerous consequences.
The former chief minister said Jammu and Kashmir is at a defining moment of its history and the ongoing Assembly polls could pave the way for resolution of the Kashmir issue and ensure durable peace in the region if the people give a decisive mandate to his party.
Sayeed said people of all regions of the state consider PDP not just as a political alternative but a platform for change and channeling of their collective aspirations.
He said there is a divergence of aspirations in the state but the need for peace in the region is shared by all and so is the urge for growth, development and employment generation.
"We will ensure that the identity of the state is protected, peace process is revived and inclusive development agenda is put into practice to take the state out of political uncertainty and economic backwardness," he added.
Meanwhile, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti expressed concern over the alleged violence against Kashmiri students at an institute in Haryana and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that such incidents do nor take place in future.
"Reports of such incidents pouring in from various parts of the country on regular basis are shocking and the menace has now reached an alarming stage," Mehbooba, who is Lok Sabha MP from south Kashmir, said.
She said there have been number of incidents where Kashmiri students, traders and sportsmen have been victimised in various parts of the country purely for their Kashmiri origin.
"While thousands of students, businessmen and professionals from Jammu and Kashmir are pursuing their respective professions throughout the country, cases of harassment and violence as in Haryana creates a sense of insecurity among all including the families of the victims back home," she added.
Referring to the alleged incidents where several students have been reportedly attacked and injured at a management institute in Yamuna Nagar, Mehbooba said it was obligatory upon the local police agencies not only to ensure speedy investigation but also to take all measures to provide security to the students from Jammu and Kashmir.
Mehbooba said not only the central government, but the ruling party of Haryana too has legal and moral responsibility to ensure that such incidents are stopped.