PDP fighting to safeguard identity of J&K: Mufti

Excelsior Correspondent

PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed addressing an election rally at Bandipora on Saturday.
PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed addressing an election rally at Bandipora on Saturday.

Bandipora, Nov 22: PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said focus of the upcoming Assembly elections will be to safeguard the distinct identity of Jammu and Kashmir rather than victory or defeat of a particular party. He said Congress and NC have been on a self-destruction mode in the last six years and they apparently seem to be out of the context already after the crushing defeat in the Parliamentary elections.
Addressing impressive election rallies in Bandipora and Sonawari Assembly constituencies to enlist support for the PDP candidates Nizam-ud-Din Bhat and Yasir Reshi, Mufti said while PDP has clearly emerged as a frontrunner for forming the next Government in the State, but the challenges before it have mounted in view of the latest attempts to polarize J&K on communal lines and target the special constitutional position that the State enjoys.
He said in order to face up to this challenge with strength and determination, PDP will need a clear majority which will also help it in addressing the fallout of the present Coalition Government’s inefficiency, corruption and mis-governance.
Mufti said the special status enjoyed by J&K is no concession but a historical requirement that the founding fathers of the country acknowledged and which they protected with adequate constitutional safeguards. He said the authority of the State to make its own special laws does not help any particular community or region, but the framework as well protects the distinct identity of different regions and communities within Jammu and Kashmir.
He said this special protection to the interests of the State has helped every ethnic identity within the State to flourish and preserve its identity. “In fact this could be a model for other States in the country which have diverse and multi-cultural populations,” he said.
Referring to the development potential of Bandipora district, Mufti said it is endowed with extraordinary natural assets which have remained untapped. He said the initiative taken by his coalition Government to establish Wullar-Manasbal Development Authority had opened up new opportunities of employment and growth but like all other good initiatives NC Government shelved it. He said the PDP would launch major tourism development schemes in Bandipora, Sonawari and Gurez areas to create job opportunities and introduce the area to the world.
He said Bandipora which till independence was an important transit point on the Silk-Route, suffered a setback in its commerce and trade. He said reopening of Bandipora-Gurez-Astoor Road is part of the PDP’s Self Rule framework.
Mufti said the area offers a large potential to develop water resource which at present is only source of discomfort during floods. He said the PDP, if it forms the next Government, would try to tap water resources for tourism irrigation fisheries and other pursuits that provide jobs to the locals.
Recalling the major initiatives taken by his Government in 2002, Mufti said horticulture had received a boost by abolition of toll tax and implementation of Horticulture Mission and introduction of MIS. He said modern technological support would be offered to the fruit growers to overcome post-harvest problems and ensure better returns for their produce.
Speaking on the occasion senior party leader and Member of Parliament, Muzaffar Hussain Baig said though Kashmir issue needs a political solution but bad governance, corruption and unemployment has further complicated the issue thus creating enormous instability and insecurity among the people.
He said that this year’s Lok Sabha election results are an indication that the people want a change and they are looking towards PDP as better alternative to address the governance deficit and also create reconciliatory atmosphere on the ground for peace process to move forward.

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