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J&K: Mehbooba Mufti surrenders security
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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February 07, 2007 11:19 IST

Mehbooba Mufti, president of People's Democratic Party, claimed that she has surrendered her security, and so has her party legislators.

Former chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed would also do the same in days to come. Mehbooba dared current chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Gulam Nabi Azad to withdraw the special powers of the armed forces and reduce troops.

Speaking to on phone from Srinagar, Mehbooba said that she would expect Azad to honour his commitment.

"So far we had been hearing that the political leaders wanted security as well as reduction of troops. But when he (Azad) said on the floor of the House, as the nation watched him, about withdrawal of the special powers of the security forces within 24 hours and also about troop reduction, I surrendered my security. We have written a letter where Mufti sahib has also offered to give up his security. Now we want Azad to keep his word," she said.

When reminded that reduction of troops and removal of special powers does not lie in the hands of the chief minister and it was for the Union government to take note of the situation and do the needful if it felt the need of doing so, Mehbooba said in that case they would be able to call Azad's bluff who had been giving the wrong impression to the people of the state that political leaders were asking for security.

"It would not make a difference if some of our sacrifices can bring relief to the people in the Valley. The home minister has said that the situation has improved, the security forces have done their work. Now is the time to carry the peace process forward. Everyone realises that nothing can be achieved through the power of the gun. Let us give peace a chance by bringing in more transparency in our actions," she said.

According to Mehbooba, the security forces as well as the state police should be made accountable.

"The Valley is on fire after it was discovered that innocent Kashmiris have been shot dead in fake encounters. Accountability has to be the keyword," she said.

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