Saturday, January 3, 2009

6-years after, PDP says it has no compatiblity with Congress

'Had Jamaat voted for PDP, We would have won in Sopur'
Naseer A Ganai
Srinagar, Jan 2: Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed today hinted towards scrapping ties with United Progressive Alliance, saying that the political agenda of his party is not compatible with the UPA and the Congress.
“We have to choose our own path. The political agenda of the PDP is not compatible with Congress party,” the PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed said in his first interaction with the media after recent elections in which the PDP emerged as second largest party but failed to form the Government as Congress entered into an alliance with the National Conference.
Though he stated it was not for him to decide about the party’s future course of action regarding the UPA he said the party’s working committee would take decision about whether the party would snap ties with the Congress and UPA or not.
Asked why the party felt the “incompatibility” after being in alliance with Congress-led UPA Government for six years, Mufti said his party is a regional party with self-rule, demilitarization and withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act as its mains political goals and these political goals wouldn’t obviously go well with the Congress and UPA. He said for last six years the PDP has raised the political issues with the UPA at all forums. “The self-rule document is an open book for all to see. I have given it to the prime minister when I met him,” Mufti said.
Mufti described the Congress claim that PDP had extended unconditional support to it for forming the Government in the State as “bundle of lies” and said there was not an iota of truth in the Congress statement. He said the PDP would play the role of effective opposition and would endeavor to take its self-rule agenda forward.
Flanked by MLA Syed Basharat Bukhari, Mufti said he has no problem with the Congress-National Conference alliance. “And the PDP has no grudge against the Congress for entering into an alliance with the National Conference. I wish Omer Abdullah well for being nominated as the chief minister of the State,” he said.
Accusing the National Conference of not allowing any other regional force to grow in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the alliance with the NC would not have been prudent. He said even for the constituent assembly, the NC didn’t allow anyone to contest against them. He described the PDP as only alternative regional party to the NC.
To a question on the alleged Jama’at Islami support to the Peoples Democratic Party, Mufti said had Jama’at voted for the PDP, the party would have won in Sopur. However he said if Jama’at has voted it should not raise eyebrows and the participation should be welcomed.
Mufti said there was need for development and his party has always strived for the development of the State.” But he had a caveat: “The development would not yield the desired result as long as basic problem of Kashmir issue is not resolved.”
Mufti cautioned New Delhi against misconstruing the “large voter turn-out” as “end of Kashmir problem” and said instead of getting complacent, the Government of India should seize the moment and revive the Kashmir resolution process, with renewed resolve, both on the bilateral and internal fronts.
He said it is the opportune time for New Delhi to re-initiate an inclusive dialogue process involving various shades of the political opinion in the State to find amicable solution to the State’s political and economic problems.
Mufti said the people have given mandate to the PDP agenda that reflects their true aspirations. “Emerging as a strong regional force, there is a decisive role ahead for the PDP in charting out a new destiny for the State and its people,” he said.
He said the “PDP has laid a clear roadmap for the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue in its self-rule document that has been substantively endorsed by the people across the State.”
He said in recently held elections the PDP has lost almost six seats by a very low margin. In Sonwar with 94 votes, Langate 210, Rajouri 216, Kulgam 236, Rajouri 233 and it shows the voting percentage of the party, Mufti said.
“It would be now PDP’s mission to work towards the implementation of its J&K-centric agenda that clearly illustrates a way forward for the resolution of the Kashmir issue,” he said, adding that the emerging post-election reality is that PDP is a rising political force extending rapidly its area of influence across the length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir. “PDP’s tryst with the destiny of Kashmir has been endorsed by the masses and it would be now our moral responsibility to voice the urges and aspirations of its people,” he said.
He said “having rejected violence, people of Jammu and Kashmir have reposed their faith in peaceful and democratic means for the resolution of their problems and this momentous transformation has to be respected and responded with substantive measures by New Delhi.”
“The country’s leadership must now respond to this new opportunity and rejuvenate the Kashmir resolution process with fresh resolve,” he said and added that any overt or covert effort to depoliticize Kashmir would have dangerous fallout.
“I assure the people that PDP would fortify this mandate by representing and safeguarding their aspirations and just concerns as a responsible political party,” he said.
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