Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan have always been used as political weapons to secure more votes during elections in India than in the neighbouring country, former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti claimed on Friday. “Kashmir and India aren’t an issue in Pakistan during the elections. In India, unfortunately, politics is such that tougher your stance towards Pakistan and Kashmir, the more votes you are expected to get. That is the problem,” she said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief was addressing an event in Mumbai when she emphasised the need for dialogue between the two nations and opt for “reconciliation”. “People keep saying that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is a proxy for the Army. If he is that, it is better because the Army and he will then be on the same page. If Khan is asking for a dialogue, let’s go for reconciliation, that is better,” she said.
M Mufti on India-Pak relations after a new Pak PM: People keep saying Imran Khan is a proxy for Army. If he is that, that is better because Army and he will be on the same page & if he is saying that stop, let’s have a dialogue, let’s go for reconciliation, that’s all the better. pic.twitter.com/XDcYBPCzZ5
— ANI (@ANI) December 14, 2018
Mufti also said that her party had agreed for an alliance with BJP knowing it would prove to be “suicidal”. “We knew it (alliance with the BJP) was suicidal for the party. Yet we put everything at stake. For a party which is seen as one that encourages talks with separatists, we thought Modi will rise to the occasion and since (former PM Atal Bihari) Vajpayee did not have that kind of a mandate, we thought he will reach out to Pakistan, to the people of J&K and start what Vajpayee had left,” she said.
The PDP leader also said that her father was the CM of J&K when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister. During this period, she said, the message which went out was both the Centre and the state government were on the same page and the 2002-2005 period became the “golden period.
“Modi had the mandate which Vajpayee did not. While forging an alliance with the BJP, we had thought if he (Modi) could solve Kashmir’s woes, we did not mind if that meant an end of PDP. We took disillusionment (of people) on us for this purpose,” Mufti said.
Asked if she would be open to an alliance with the Congress and the National Conference, she said, “We had never thought we would ally with the BJP. Now, an alliance with the Congress and NC depends on the need of the hour.”
J&K was placed under the governor’s rule after the PDP-BJP alliance fell apart in June. Last month, Governor Satya Pal Malik had dissolved the state assembly.
(With inputs from agencies)