Youth need pen in hand, not gun: Mehbooba

Mehbooba Mufti addressing PDP Youth Convention in Srinagar on Sunday. — Excelsior/Shakeel
Mehbooba Mufti addressing PDP Youth Convention in Srinagar on Sunday. — Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Mar 24: Former Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party president, Mehbooba Mufti, today said that youth of Kashmir need pen and not gun and democratic process is the way out to deal with the dissent.
In a first of its kind, thousands of youngsters carrying placards “Youth for Peace” show up at former Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti’s house.
Mehbooba while addressing the gathering referring to ban on religious and political organizations and said that it is no solution but the democratic process. “Choking political space and expecting achievable solution is to live in a fool’s paradise. Only democratic process is a way to deal with the dissent”, he said.
Seeking revocation of ban on religious organizations like Jamat-e-Islami, she said that curbing or banning religious organizations won’t help in the facilitation process.
The former Chief Minister said that Kashmiris need pen and not guns. “Our youth needs space. They need opportunities and not coffins. They need pen not gun. They need healing touch not detentions,” she said.
Mehbooba said that the State is going through the worst of times and peace can only prevail when space is given to different ideas and not by bans or curbs.
“Our agenda was never to gain power, but to bridge and facilitate between people and the authorities. Our State has suffered a lot and we won’t allow anyone to fiddle with the religious emotions of the people,” she said.
Mehbooba questioned the ban on Yasin Malik’s JKLF and said that such detrimental steps like these will only turn Kashmir into an open air prison.
“Yasin Malik renounced violence as a way of resolving J&K issue a long time ago. He was treated as a stakeholder in a dialogue initiated by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. What will a ban on his organization achieve?,” she asked.
She said that PDP has decided not to participate in some Lok Sabha constituencies just to keep the communal forces at bay. “People are the best judge. They know whom to vote” she said.
Among others, Nayeem Akhtar, Safina Beigh, Aijaz Mir, Youth President Waheed Para, Nazir Yatoo and others spoke on the occasion and stressed for strengthening the party.