Won’t contest elections till Kashmir issue is resolved: Mehbooba

‘GoI can’t shut eyes to reality’

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Oct 23: Former Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti today said that she will not raise any flag till the flag of Jammu and Kashmir is returned and refused to contest elections till Kashmir issue is resolved.
She also said that the ruling party in the Centre is trying to replace the Constitution of the country with its party manifesto.
Addressing a news conference, Mehbooba Mufti, who was accompanied by Abdul Rehman Veeri, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura and Suhail Bukhari told media persons that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demolished the constitution of the country.
She said the party has demolished the country’s constitution and has been implementing “anti-people acts”. However, she said that the current era of authoritarian rule will also not sustain forever, saying that Hitler’s rule also culminated.

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“Anyone who is raising his or her voice over the abrogation of Article 370 is being suppressed. The fact is that the Government has failed to come up with the expectations of people over development, employment and other mandatory issues and to divert the attention, it is blocking minorities and also Kashmiris,” she said in her first press conference, 11 days after she was released from 14-month-long detention.
Our fight is not confined for the restoration of Article 370, but for the resolution of Kashmir issue as well. Kashmir issue is an issue and nobody can turn their eye blind towards it,” she added.
Mehbooba asserted that “those who think we will forget Article 370 are living in fool’s paradise. People have given a lot of sacrifices and we won’t allow the sacrifices to go waste.”
She added that she will be the first person among the leaders to give her blood for this cause in case the need arises. “We (leaders) are united and people should also fight it in unison. It is not the fight of Dr Farooq, Sajad Lone or any other leader. But of one and all,” she added.
“Since Article 370 was abrogated, the government left no stone unturned to hurt the sentiments of people by taking all the anti-people decisions. They don’t want people of Jammu and Kashmir. People of JK are expendable for them,” she added.
She said that Government of India can’t shut eyes to the Kashmir issue. “I want to tell those in Delhi that the issue of Kashmir is an issue. You cannot shut eyes to the reality. My party’s aim has been to pull out Kashmir from the mayhem that has been there. We wanted to create a bridge of peace. We wanted to resolve issues”, she said.
Mehbooba said that people of J&K won’t forget sacrifices and will not let them go waste. “I want to tell those who believe that we will forget the Kashmir issue and might talk a little about 370 and Statehood, they are mistaken. Hundreds of people have sacrificed their lives for Kashmir issue; we will not forget the sacrifices, we will not let them go waste”, she added.
She said that it is the leaders who have to shed blood now. “So far, people have shed their blood, now I think it’s time for leaders like me to shed their blood”, she said.
The PDP president said that they don’t want violence but the GoI wants to instigate the people. “We don’t want violence; they want violence and they end up disrupting everything. Since the abrogation of 370, they have implemented every law here. Such measures have been taken which instigate the people of J&K”, she added.
Mehbooba said that GoI doesn’t want people of J&K but land. “They have side-lined Muslim officers in the Government. They did not even leave the sand and other things for us. It means that they do not want the people of J&K. The people of J&K are expendable for them, they want the territory”, she said.
“They had it (territory) till August 5, 2019 rightfully, but they broke that relation. We had acceded to a liberal, democratic and secular India. We are incompatible with today’s India. We have been humiliated”, she added.
She said: “They have to understand that this country will not run as per the manifesto of BJP. How are they expecting that the people of J&K will accept the constitution which has been desecrated by them?”
Mehbooba asked people not to be disheartened and fight politically for the rights which were snatched. “People should not feel disheartened, should not be hopeless. Nothing is impossible, we will get what has been snatched from us and I am telling you that they will come running to us and will ask if we want anything more than what has been snatched from us. This is a political fight. We will fight it together with people”, she added.
“This is my flag (pointing towards the flag of erstwhile J&K state), and until this flag is not given back to us, we will not hold that (Indian) flag as well. They have stolen our flag and we will not hold any other flag till then”, she added.
“I am no longer for power if that would have been the reason we would have allied with Congress or NC. If there is a need for the blood to be shed, I will be the first person to do that”, she said.
“The Parliament had no right to do that (abrogate 370). We destroyed ourselves and stood in between J&K and the BJP. They desecrated the Constitution of India”, Mehbooba said.
She said that she won’t fight elections unless Kashmir issue is resolved. “I am talking about myself; I have no interest in contesting elections. Unless and until our constitution is returned to us, I will not contest elections. I will not be there for the restoration of statehood or the 370; my concern will be the Kashmir issue as a whole”, she added.
The PDP president said that abrogation of Article 370 has internationalised Kashmir issue. “The abrogation of 370 has internationalized Kashmir all over again. I want to appreciate you (press) for whatever you have been doing under difficult conditions. I know the things are not quite easy for you. People are shell-shocked. And this is the reason I wanted to talk to people through”, she added.
“In August it was loot and whatever they have snatched from us, they will have to return it no matter what”, she said.
“We didn’t ally with BJP for power. If you remember my father made a statement on 28th July 2014 wherein he stated that he wants to work for JK people. By forging an alliance with the BJP, my father tried to put jinn into the bottle. He knew a Tsunami is coming,” she added.
Mehbooba stated that it was not the alliance with BJP that led to the abrogation of Article 370 as everything was done from the Parliament. “It was the Parliament that was misused. Parliament had no right to do this. We stood like a wall for Article 370. It was only because of releasing stone pelters, Jamaatis and returning the bodies of militants to their families that the bonhomie with BJP ended,” she said.
Asked whether she has any regret of forging an alliance, Mehbooba said she regrets for posing a faith on the leader from that party who have demolished the constitution of the country, who stole everything from J&K.
About elections, she said that “Mehbooba has nothing to do with the elections.” However, she said that party leaders will decide it together and the signatories of Peoples Alliance will also sit and take any decision accordingly.
She added that BJP is dividing people on caste and religion, but “we have united and will also unite people.”
While replying to a query, Mehbooba said she knows the Article 370 case is currently subjudice but you need to create an atmosphere on the ground.