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Don't use repressive measures: Mehbooba Mufti
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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August 24, 2008 19:08 IST

President of the People's Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti has asked the government of Jammu & Kashmir and the Centre not to use repressive measures while dealing with the current situation in the state, which has taken a volatile turn.

Mehbooba refuted the allegation that it was Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's government, which had allowed allotment of land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board and that Gulam Nabi Azad's government merely implemented that decision.

Addressing a press conference at her residence in New Delhi [Images], Mehbooba said she has brought documents from the state assembly to prove that Azad was not telling the truth.

She alleged that Azad had already spotted the land in the Baltal area to be allocated to the shrine board to set up temporary facilities for the pilgrims.

"He even undertook a tour with officials and now he is blaming the PDP government headed by Mufti Sahib to become some sort of hero," she said.

She wondered how the state government could impose curfew in the Valley 24 hours before the hartal given by the people of Kashmir.

"The only way temperatures can be brought down is to open the Muzzafarbad-Srinagar road. If the army could be withdrawan from the state of Punjab after the militancy there was under control, why can't we do the same in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] in an honourable manner. Many nationals leaders wanted to catch me by my throat for making that statement at the all-party meet called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images]," she said.

Raising her voice she accused the members of the shrine board of being the most corrupt persons who should be shot dead.

"The need of the hour is that an amicable solution should be found to the Kashmir problem. Do not go by the statements of politicians as they say one thing while in Delhi and another while in Srinagar [Images]. In case of the National Conference, Omar Abdullah says he would resign from Parliament if force is used against the people of Kashmir while Farooq Sahib says that greater autonomy would satisfy the people. But the truth is that no leader is in control of what is happening on the ground," Mehbooba countered the stiff and pointed questions flung in her face by the national media.

She conceded that the gun culture had failed to yield desired results. The people, according to her are peaceful. "Our party is against violence from either side whether it comes from across the border or Indian side. We will stand against the violence. I floated the theory of double currency as it does not post a threat to the unity and integrity of India," she said.

She was one of the leaders of the Valley who prefers that Amarnath Yatra [Images] should be controlled by by the state government.

"This is the only solution to the problem," Mehbooba said rather aggressively. She did not think that the time was conducive to hold elections at the moment.

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