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Will not allow BJP to turn JK into ‘war theatre’ for electoral gains: Mehbooba

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Srinagar, Mar 09: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Saturday said that BJP’s attempts to turn Jammu and Kashmir into a “theatre of war for electoral gains” will be opposed and foiled by her PDP.

Chaired by the party president, People s Democratic Party held a meeting of its top leadership in Srinagar today to discuss the prevailing political situation in Jammu and Kashmir, a party spokesman said in a statement here.

He said the meeting saw participation of all senior party functionaries including parliament members, former ministers and legislators.

Speaking in the meeting, Mehbooba Mufti expressed serious concern over the prevailing situation in the state and said that the “repressive measures” and “iron fist approach” are being rigorously implemented with common masses threatened, intimated and harassed by the government at large.

She said soon after the Pulwama attack last month, there are attempts to intimidate the people of Kashmir with Prime Minister Modi on television declaring airstrikes against Pakistan as pilot project and threatening that more is yet to come.

“Whom is PM Modi trying to threaten with such war-mongering? Due to such a ruthless smear campaign, Kashmiri students outside JK are targeted, traders harassed all across, and inside Kashmir religious outfits are banned with clerics bundled in jails like criminals,” spokesman quoted Mehbooba as saying.

Mehbooba also reiterated PDP’s stand vis-a-vis banning the Jamaat-e-Islami, terming the measure as “undemocratic, unconstitutional and an attempt to hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims all across.”

She said “we have been saying this since day-one that Jamaat-e- Islami is an idea. Ideas cannot be chained, banned or killed. Ideas are bulletproof and in democracy, ideas are allowed to flourish and not choked. What the BJP is doing at present is nothing but a clear vendetta against anyone who dares to oppose its policies.”

The PDP president also added that her party will remain in the forefront to oppose any move aimed at harassing,  suppressing and targeting the people of state and that the policies being adopted by the central leadership towards the state are turning the already crises-ridden region into a veritable inferno.

“Jamat-e- Islami has been credited for running schools and is a socio-religious organization which is totally non-violent, and the organization has on many occasions publicly disapproved of violence as a method of political struggle. Banning it will further shrink the space for politics and dialogue and it seems that government of India is now completely depending on force as a measure to subjugate the people of state,” she said.

“However, it has to understand that no muscular policy will work as it has never worked in the past and it will never work in future also,” party spokesman quoted her as saying.

The PDP president added that she will not allow Jammu and Kashmir to turn into a “theatre of war for the BJP’s electoral gains.”

She also said that the central government is pushing the people of Jammu and Kashmir into a corner while their constitutional rights are being trampled upon.

She said that need of the hour is that the Government of India stops this “muscular policy” and understands that dialogue is the only way forward.

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