Implementing agenda of alliance only solution to woes: Mehbooba Mufti

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today made it clear that there was "no other solution" to the wide range of issues plaguing the state than implementing the 'agenda of alliance' reached between the PDP and the BJP, that aims to provide a representative government. "We are sure there is no other solution. How long will we fight with each other? How long will Kashmiris be killed? How long will our kids bear the brunt of this trouble? There is no other way. And if not today, then tomorrow, it (implementation of agenda of alliance) has to happen," Mehbooba said. The agenda of alliance was reached between PDP and BJP after the elections in the state delivered a split mandate in December 2014, and after two months of hectic negotiations. It aims to provide a representative government in the state. "(Former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) had full confidence that the agenda of alliance, which talks about (revocation of) of AFSPA, retrieving of land (from security forces), (return of) power projects (to the state) and dialogue, is the only solution to (the issue of) Jammu and Kashmir and that there is no other option," she said at an event organised by the state cultural academy here. Mehbooba said Sayeed dreamt of taking the state out of the uncertainties and she will work to realise those dreams. "My father's conviction was so honest and truthful that I am sure that my team will realise his dreams," she said. Defending her father's decision to form a government in the state in alliance with BJP, Mehbooba said Sayeed knew that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a powerful mandate and the guts to take forward former premier A B Vajpayee's agenda. "Sayeed would tread that path which would lead to taking the people of Kashmir out of this morass. He wanted to change the mindset of the people here as well as in Delhi," she said. She said her father believed in democracy and wanted it to flourish in Jammu and Kashmir. "He saw democracy in India and his wish was to see that example of democracy in Kashmir." Mehbooba said Pakistan's "weakness" has been its withering democracy. "I think Pakistan's weakness was that democracy did not flourish there. Had democracy flourished there, then that country would have perhaps gone much forward." The chief minister said Sayeed was a "man, a messenger of peace" who did not like confrontation. Without elaborating further, Mehbooba said "in a democracy, every issue is settled through dialogue".