Situation in IIOJK far from normal, BJP uses Taliban, Pakistan to garner votes: Mehboob Mufti

Jammu, September 20 (KMS): The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti has said that the situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir is far from normal which is evident from the twin attacks in Kulgam district in south Kashmir, this week.

Mehbooba talking to reporters on the sidelines of a party function in Jammu said, “Their claim that everything is normal in Jammu and Kashmir is absolutely wrong. People are silent and silence does not mean that the situation has improved. They are feeling suffocated while the BJP is trying to portray that everything is alright.”

Referring to the one-day strike call given by Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry against for September 22 against attempts to finish local trade by allowing big corporate chains to open their outlets in the territory, she said those who the BJP claimed were in support of the abrogation of Article 370 are going on a protest strike.

“At least they are registering their protest but in Kashmir, the people cannot even do this. They are forced to open their shops if they resort to strike,” the PDP leader added.

In response to a question about the visit of 70 Indian ministers to different parts of Jammu and Kashmir and their remarks that Article 370 was a hurdle in the development of the occupied territory, Mehbooba said, “It is nothing but a photo opportunity to portray that the situation is normal. But if the situation is normal, why are District Development Council (DDC) members kept in hotels and other buildings under security and not allowed to move freely.”

“They should go to Uttar Pradesh to campaign for the next assembly elections. They should go there to find out the reasons for dumping of bodies in the sacred river Ganga and the condition of the people,” Mehbooba said.

About the slow pace of work on various projects in Jammu, She said, “Nothing is happening in Jammu and Kashmir. Many of these projects were sanctioned during the previous government.”

She maintained that the corruption in IIOJK is at an all-time high with all government departments affected, while the poor people are facing starvation in the backdrop of rising prices of essential commodities and fuel.

She made it clear time and again that she herself is not going to fight the assembly elections as her objective is to seek restoration of Article 370 of the Constitution which was abrogated by the BJP-led government in August 2019. However, she said that her party will fight the upcoming assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir but ruled out an alliance with its erstwhile coalition partner the BJP.

The BJP, she added, will start cashing on the God-given opportunity of Taliban and Afghanistan and if it would not work, they will bring Pakistan and drones into picture.

The BJP walked out of the PDP-led government in 2018, ending a three-year-old alliance with the party.