'Only time can tell' says Mehbooba on govt formation in J-K

'Only time can tell' says Mehbooba on govt formation in J-K

Notwithstanding BJP's optimism,PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti today remained ambivalent on progress in talks on government formation, maintaining that she will be on board once she is convinced that she can "fulfill the dreams" of her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for Jammu and Kashmir.

"That only time can tell," was the cryptic response of the PDP president to reporters when they asked her if there was any forward movement in talks with the BJP for government formation in the state.

Just days earlier, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav had flown to Srinagar and held talks with the PDP chief after which he had said that "both parties are positive" on continuing with the arrangement.

Mehbooba, who attended first public function today after Sayeed's death on January 7, said her visit to Delhi was only related to her duties as a Lok Sabha member.

"The parliament session is starting on Feb 23... I am going to attend it. I have asked questions... if the Parliament is allowed to function.

"There are issues like JNU, which is unfortunate, Haryana (Jat agitation), we don't know what will happen in Parliament," she said.

Earlier, addressing the party workers, Mehbooba said coming to power was not her goal.
"If we feel, we can fulfill the dreams of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, then only it is worth it.    If the situation continues as it is, then my inheritance (the people of the state) is enough for me," she said.

The PDP president said her late father throughout his political career spanning over five decades struggled for the betterment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Only 12 years of his long political career, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was in power. However, he remained alive (in politics) due to the support of the people. "He wanted to keep the state united and resolve the issues they faced," she said.

Recalling the last few days of her father, Mehbooba said despite the advice of doctors, he continued to work and was concerned about the people of the state.

"Even in the hospital, he asked me if the money for flood victims has been released (by the Centre), whether the work on additional accommodation for Kashmiri Pandits at Sheikhpura had been started. .. when I told him that Prime Minister Modi had visited Pakistan," he just smiled.

"He did not sacrifice his life so that I can get the chair. He sacrificed his life for you," Mehbooba, choking on her words, said.

On Sayeed's decision to ally with BJP, the PDP president said her father was ready for electoral loss but wanted to take the people of the state out of this uncertainty.

"He was of the belief that Modiji with such a huge mandate can take the state out of its troubles if he is able to convince him about the need for India-Pakistan friendship and resolution of outstanding issues," she said.

Mehbooba said Sayeed wanted Jammu and Kashmir to become a bridge between India and Pakistan.

The PDP President recalled how her father had canvassed for opening of cross-Line of Control routes in his first tenure as chief minister.

The PDP president said Sayeed was a nationalist who believed in democracy and secularism of India.

"He started his career when there was a plebiscite movement in Kashmir... when talking in favour of India was considered blasphemous.

"But he was impressed by democracy where rich and poor had one vote each, where more Hindus can be seen at a Sufi saint's shrine than Muslims," she said.

The PDP president said her father was not the one to follow the beaten track and would not hesitate to go against the tide if it was in the interest of the people of the state.

"You should understand why he (Sayeed) created PDP. He never used to tread easy path but would create (new) ways, however difficult, and when he used to step on that road, he would not look back. He would never make a U-turn.

"He would never say something was right one day and wrong the day after," Mehbooba said.

She said she has been hearing since the last one-and-a-half months that the chief ministerial chair was her "inheritance" from Mufti.

"The inheritance from my father is not the chair. Mufti's legacy is so large than it cannot fit in the chair.

"It is courage, strength and the love for the people here which he always had in his heart. His inheritance for me is to tread those roads which nobody dares to take," she said.

The PDP president said that gun was not a solution to the issues which can be addressed through a dialogue.

"I am happy that they (BJP) understood that there is no option other than what Mufti used to say (regarding dialogue with Pakistan). There is America, a big power, but it has failed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"There is Syria and Libya, are they not independent nations? But once the gun entered, everything was lost.

"Gun does not benefit anyone. I can feel the pain of the parents who lost their sons yesterday or when any youth takes to gun and is killed in an encounter," she said.

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