Give me a chance to govern: Mehbooba
Only Modi can solve crisis, Pakistan derailed peace process, says J& K CM
New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday appealed to the people to give her a chance to address the crisis in the state, underlining the fact that she has been in power for just three months and a half.
“I appeal to all those protesting in the streets. You may be angry with me, I may be angry with you. But please give me one chance to address your concerns and aspirations,” she said.
In an exclusive interview with dna, after her 45- minute- meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for the first time since the unrest broke in the state on July 8, Mehbooba said she outlined a threepronged action during the meeting.
It included the involvement of separatists and Pakistan in a substantive dialogue and a solution in the light of the contemporary geopolitical realities. But she refused to divulge details.
Mehbooba said that good governance in her state was linked to peaceful relations between India and Pakistan. “How can you govern and undertake development- related work when there are tensions?” she said. On this front, she blamed Islamabad for not responding to Modi’s peace overtures.
“PM Modi reached out to Pakistan, went to Lahore, but then Pathankot happened. Home minister Rajnath Singh also went to Islamabad. Unfortunately, Pakistan has repeatedly given up the chances to talk and resolve the issue of violence in Kashmir. Now, it is again time for Pakistan ( to respond),” she said. Only Modi, with a massive mandate, can revive the process, she said. Mehbooba, however, skirted questions on the PM’s recent pronouncements on Balochistan and Pakistan- occupied Kashmir ( PoK).
Fifty- seven- year- old Mehbooba, mother of two daughters and one of the few women politicians from Kashmir, said she asked Modi to put in place an institutionalised mechanism to address the issue. “I asked for reviving the reconciliation and resolution process, which was initiated by the then NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee between 2002 and 2005,” she said.
It was the brushing of issues under the carpet, as in 2008 and 2010, that has resulted in the current unrest, Mehbooba said. “The country’s political leadership must commit itself to address all dimensions of the problem in a manner that balances and promotes enduring political and economic stability in the state and the region,” she said.
She expressed confidence that current tensions would not derail the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit and the PM’s visit to Islamabad.
“The coalition government will support and strengthen the initiatives by the government to create a reconciliatory environment for ushering in peace and development in the subcontinent,” she said while reading a passage from the joint PDP- BJP document.
J& K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti addresses the media after her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday.