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Modi has put a check on corruption: Mehbooba Mufti

NEW DELHI: J&K Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed while speaking at “Agenda Aaj Tak” conclave on Saturday said Islamic State (IS) terrorists were not a threat to Kashmir and all the waving of IS flags in the Valley was nothing put publicity stunts aimed at getting media attention. Rubbishing media claims that she was soon going to replace her father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed as Chief Minister of the state soon, she said there is no hurry and that her father was good work in the state.

“IS does not represent Islam, they are killings Muslims, preaching to commit atrocities …Islam in Kashmir is different which teaches to live with neighbour in peace. IS will never be a threat to Kashmir. Those raising IS flags in the Valley does not even know what IS really is. Those waving flags of IS or Pakistan in the Valley just want publicity…I urge the media to ignore them and isolate them. They are the one who do not want peace to prevail,” she said.

Ms. Sayeed while talking about the leadership issue in Jammu and Kashmir said her father was doing an excellent job as Chief Minister and there is no hurry of her replacing him. “I will become (CM) when the time comes,” she said. She said Mr. Sayeed was busy in pushing the development agenda in the state and also wants peace and trade with Pakistan. “Peace with Pakistan is in bigger interest of Jammu and Kashmir as it would boost trade and development in the state. Our alliance with BJP, though a difficult one, is solely focused on development and growth of the state…The alliance’s agenda is bigger,” she added.

Welcoming India’s stand to resume dialogue with Pakistan, Ms. Sayeed said: “Why are we afraid of talking to Pakistan or about Kashmir…Instead of delaying it or avoiding it, we should pull bull by its horns. As former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said we cannot change our neighbours, we should strive to bridge the gap and build bridges of peace. Kashmir is directly impacted with Indo-Pak relations…I am happy that talks have restarted. As a bigger nation, India needs to make that extra effort,” she added.

She blamed Congress and National Conference government post 2005 when PDP was voted out of power for not leveraging on peace efforts that were initiated by her father in his previous terms. “A window of opportunity was created by my father, but all that has been wasted. As a result, we are back to square one and have to work again to bring peace to the state. Let us make Jammu and Kashmir a Gate of India from where we can open trade routes to not only Pakistan and Afghanistan but to entire central Asia,” she added.

Terming the entire debate on the food habits and personal choices of people as “unfortunate”, Ms. Sayeed said India is a unique nation with unity in diversity as it core strength. “There are some fringe elements who combine pseudo Hinduism with nationalism and that where the problem lies…All this discourse is sickening. All religions have contributed in India’s growth where Hinduism has taught us to be tolerant,” she said. She also noted that to abuse Huriyyat Conference cannot be a benchmark of patriotism. She also hoped that displaced Pandits will soon return to the Valley and that the state government was working to make it possible.

Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for curbing corruption at the Centre, she said everyone in Delhi’s powers of corridors knows how “liaison officers” fixed deals in hotels. All that has stopped and it as big achievement of the current government, she noted. Ms. Sayeed also hoped that all “black laws” like the AFSPA that have been implemented in the state will soon be removed. She also praised the Indian Army for its role in the reconstruction and development work in the state.

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