Will not raise white flag: Mehbooba

Her statement comes just days after PM’s remarks that PDP’s refusal to hold DDC polls resulted in BJP deciding to end coalition with PDP

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said the PDP-BJP alliance fell apart in 2018 “because she refused to accept the demands that slain militants’ bodies would not be handed over to the families and opposed a crackdown on the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI).

“The alliance fell apart after I was told by the BJP to accept a set of demands, including a move to stop handing over the militants’ bodies to their families for the last rites and launch a crackdown against the JeI across Kashmir,” the former Chief Minister told party workers in Srinagar.

The statement comes just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that the PDP’s refusal to hold District Development Council (DDC) polls resulted in the BJP’s decision to end the coalition with the PDP.

She said her father, the late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, joined hands with the BJP only to “cage a ‘jinny’ in a bottle” and “stop it from touching the Article 370”.

‘Choking Kashmir economy’

She alleged that the BJP-led regime was “choking Kashmir’s economy and tarnishing the J&K’s constitution”. “We will fight for our rights. We are not the ones who would raise white flags. No matter how far BJP goes in choking Kashmir economy and making us dependent on all fronts, we will not bow,” she stated.

Ms. Mufti pledged to continue to press for resolution of the Kashmir issue through a dialogue with the Hurriyat and Pakistan. “We are not saying we will resolve the Kashmir issue, but we have a role. We will not allow Kashmir to be a battle ground but a bridge of peace between India and Pakistan. We are not saying anything new but what Atal Bihari Vajpayee did. We demand opening of our traditional routes too,” she said.

Use of Central agencies

She accused the Central government of employing the investigating agencies like the National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate and the CBI to suppress people and intimidate them.

“In the past two months, my workers were intimidated and threatened. Even the DDC candidates who won are being blackmailed to join other parties. A person who was caught along with three guns in his car was let go and his case was withdrawn as he became BJP’s proxy. On the contrary PDP youth wing leader Waheed Para, who made hundreds of youths join the PDP, was put behind the bars by the NIA,” she said.

Mr. Parra was the one who who brought 6,000 youth to attend former Home Minister of India’s rally in Kashmir. “Despite the court orders, he wasn’t allowed to take oath in jail. How can he be linked with militants as he was working to bring youth towards mainstream?” she added.

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