AHMED ALI FAYYAZ
New Delhi, July 18: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, on Sunday broke her silence over her sister Rubaiya Sayeed’s statement against the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) head, Yasin Malik, at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court in Jammu on Friday. She asserted that Rubaiya had no option but to identify Malik who was a known face as one among her kidnappers in Srinagar in December 1989.
Speaking to a group of select media persons at her government residence on the Gupkar Road in Srinagar, Mehbooba said that her sister did her duty as per the legal requirement as she was the prime prosecution witness and victim of the kidnapping 32 years back.
Rubaiya, she said, was called as a witness to identify some characters in the case which she could not have refused. “Since it was easy to identify Yasin Malik as he has been in the public domain for a long time, it was easy for her to identify him. Thirty-two years is a long time and people tend to forget a lot in such a long time but it was easy to identify Yasin Malik,” she said. She said that her sister did not identify the others. “She only did her duty as per the law as she was asked to identify someone,” she said.
Talking about the BJP, Mehbooba said that the ruling party at the Centre had failed to deliver good governance in the country. “That’s why, to divert attention, they indulge in creating riots and clashes in the name of religion,” she alleged.
Mehbooba said that dialogue was the only way forward. She wanted India to resume dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the issues in Kashmir and other places. “In fact, dialogue has to be initiated with all the stakeholders to resolved the Kashmir issue and to stop bloodshed here. Through violence and gun, we cannot resolve anything,” she said. According to her, the Kashmir political issue was bigger than the issue of the restoration of Article 370. She said that her party would continue its fight for the “peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue.”
Mehbooba, whose PDP is a party in the Supreme Court of India in the petitions seeking restoration of the erstwhile State’s special status, expressed her disappointment over the delay in the apex court. “We cannot expect anything from the Supreme Court, as it has failed to hold a single hearing of the case related to the abrogation of Article 370 in the last 3 years,” she asserted.
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AHMED ALI FAYYAZ