Outcome will be dangerous if Delhi breaks PDP: Mehbooba Mufti

Says it will create more militants if its splits the party to form government in J & K

New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir (J & K) chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said that attempts by the Narendra Modi-led union government to break up her People’s Democratic Party (PDP) would have dangerous consequences.

“If New Delhi tries to dismiss the voting rights of people as was done in 1987, if it tries to create divisions and interfere like that, if it tries to break up the PDP then I think just like a Syed Salahuddin and a Yasin Malik were born in 1987, the outcomes will be dangerous,” Mehbooba told media

Syed Salahuddin is the chief of the Pakistan-based militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. He also heads an alliance of anti-India militant groups — the United Jihad Council — that works to annex Kashmir to Pakistan.

On the other hand, Yasin Malik is a Kashmiri separatist leader who advocates separation of Kashmir from both India and Pakistan. He is the Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), which originally spearheaded armed militancy in the valley after the mass scale rigging in the 1987 elections.

On Friday, Mehbooba warned the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the centre that any attempt to engineer defections from the PDP would erode the trust of Kashmiris in Indian democracy.

It is believed that the legislative assembly elections of 1987 in the state were rigged, which caused the first major wave of militancy in the valley.

The elections allegedly gave rise to people like Syed Salahuddin, Hamid Shaikh, Ashfaq Majeed, Ahsan Dar, among others, to cross over to Pakistan for arms training.

In the last one month, several PDP leaders have come out in the open accusing BJP of reaching out to them in an effort to form a BJP government in J & K.

Last month, Mehbooba had resigned after BJP abruptly ended its three-year alliance with her party.

Reacting to Mehbooba’s statement, Opposition leader and former CM of J & K Omar Abdullah said she “sounded desperate.”

“Mehbooba Mufti must really be desperate if she is threatening the Centre with renewed militancy if the PDP breaks up. She seems to have forgotten that militancy in Kashmir has already been reborn under her most able administration,” Abdullah tweeted.

He claimed that not a single militant would be created in the event of a break-up in Mehbooba’s party.

“Not one new militant will be created with the break-up of the PDP. People will not mourn the demise of a party created in Delhi only to divide the votes of Kashmiris,” he further stated.

Meanwhile, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rejected Mehbooba’s statement.

“Talks of splitting the PDP are baseless. We have split from the alliance. Allegations of splitting the PDP are wrong,” Sitharaman said.

BJP’s general secretary in charge of J & K Ram Madhav also dismissed Mufti’s statement and said reports that his party was trying to draw away PDP legislators were untrue.

According to sources in BJP, an announcement regarding the formation of a new government led by the saffron party is likely to be made after the Amarnath Yatra ends on August 26.

Many political commentators agree with Mufti that the 1987 elections were a large-scale fraud by Abdullah’s National Conference (NC) party which sowed the seeds of militancy in Kashmir.

“Most of the boys who first crossed over into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for terrorism training under Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI did so after the fraudulent legislative assembly elections in 1987,” AS Dulat, former chief of India’s intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has written in his book ‘Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years.’


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