Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said she would not hesitate to step down if commitments made in the Agenda of Alliance with BJP do not materialise and the chair becomes an "impediment" in fulfilling her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's "vision" for Jammu and Kashmir.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said she would not hesitate to step down if commitments made in the Agenda of Alliance with BJP do not materialise and the chair becomes an “impediment” in fulfilling her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s “vision” for Jammu and Kashmir.
In her first address as Chief Minister in the Assembly, she noted that safeguarding Article 370 that gives special status to the state was included in the Agenda, which was “no small feat”. She also defended the demand for self-rule for restoration of peace in the state, saying it was “not a sin” and fingers should not be pointed at BJP on inclusion of several of its provisions in their common programme.
“The chair will not be my weakness. I will continue in the chair till I feel it is my strength. If I feel it has become my weakness I will not continue.
“The commitments I have made which are part of Agenda of Alliance, if those Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) materialise well and good. If not what is a big deal…I have assumed this chair to fulfill the vision of my father,” Mehbooba said while replying to the motion of thanks to Governor’s address in the Assembly.
In a point-by-point rebuttal of the opposition’s criticism, the Chief Minister said her father’s vision was to find ways for taking Jammu and Kashmir out of the difficult situation it finds itself in.
On her party’s self rule formula for resolution of Kashmir issue, she said it was in the benefit of both India and Pakistan and most of its features were part of the recommendations made by the Prime Minister’s working group set up in 2005.
“We have all signed it (working group recommendations). The joint mechanism was also discussed in these recommendations which envisaged 10 representatives from both the countries meeting twice every year. Self rule is not a sin that you will point fingers at BJP time and again on it.
“It is in the benefit of Jammu and Kashmir, India, Pakistan and the subcontinent if the state prospers and there is peace. It can become an example for conflict resolution around the world,” Mehbooba said.
She said the biggest failure of leadership in the state as well as the national level has been the inability to bring the Valley and Jammu regions closer.
“Article 370 of Indian constitution guarantees special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The people of Jammu as well as Kashmir have the same right under this provision. However, a perception has been created as if this provision is anti-Jammu,” she said.
Mehbooba said inclusion of safeguarding the Article 370 in the Agenda of Alliance between her PDP and BJP was no small feat.
“Although no one can repeal Article 370, do you want them (BJP) to repeal it,” she asked the opposition.