Bijbehara, Anantnag: Apologising for her ‘toffee’ remark, which she made over killing of civilians in security forces action during 2016 unrest, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday claimed that it was a mother’s reaction to save her children from going near the Army camps.
Meanwhile, referring to the resignation spree of PDP leaders, Ms Mehbooba, who was the chief minister in PDP-BJP coalition government, said that her party was ‘free of garbage now’.
“It was a mother’s reaction to save her children from going near the Army camps. They are our own kids. Didn’t I have this right to tell these children in a loud voice, who were part of my rallies… why were you asked to stand in the front of those rallies (protest demonstrations) where you, God forbid, got injured,” Ms Mehbooba on Monday said while addressing a gathering of party workers in Bijbehera on the third anniversary of her father and PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
She said her statement regarding these children was out of anger to save them. However, she said if her statement has hurt anyone, she apologizes for it. It, she said was purely a mother’s reaction.
Ms Mehbooba was widely criticized for her comment that ‘youth were not going to army camps and police stations to buy toffee and milk’. Ms Mehbooba, who the chief minister at that time in the coalition government, had said this while addressing a press conference in Srinagar along with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Taking about the youth, who were killed in 2016 unrest, Ms Mehbooba said that they were the same kids who campaigned for her during elections. “Then the same kids protested against me. It was the toughest time for me to see their anger,” she added.
The PDP president also invited youth to join her party and help to take the state ‘out of this misery’. “From this platform, I want to invite the youth of Jammu and Kashmir who are educated and interested in resolution of the Kashmir issue to come and join us. All the garbage in the party has gone out with the wind,” she said.
Defending her recent visits to the families of slain militants in south Kashmir, Ms Mehbooba said that she wanted to send across a message that the families of the militants shouldn’t be harassed. “A girl was being harassed there. It was question of her honour. I thought my visit to the family would send a message to the government that if we have to fight the militants we don’t have to harass their families,” she added.
Asserting that the only agenda of her party is aimed to initiate peace process between India and Pakistan, Ms Mehbooba said the last wish of her father was peace and talks.
The PDP President said that she has not compromised as she promised amnesty and then implemented. “I even tried to extend the ceasefire for six months,” she added.
About Kathua gangrape and murder case, the former chief minister said she ensured justice and didn’t allow CBI to take over the case like Shopian rape and murder case. “Not only this, I never compromised on special status, and never allowed BJP to tinker with it,” she said.