Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the “failure" of the previous Omar Abdullah government to deal with the issue of stone-pelting had led to the unrest last year and the situation in the Valley at present.
Her remarks came as a response to National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, who had on Thursday said the Mufti government was “financing stone-pelting".
“There was no measures taken with regard to the youths, who took to the streets to hurl stones (in 2010). What steps were taken at that time to check stone-pelting? No treatment was done. It is because of the failure to take steps to treat the ailment. It churned lava (in youths), which exploded suddenly last year and till now, we have not been able to stop this," Mehbooba said.
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On Abdullah’s charge, she said: “The NC had in 2010 said the PDP, which was in the opposition at that time, was giving money to stone-pelters. Now, Farooq Abdullah is saying the PDP government is paying boys and youths for throwing stones. Some time ago, Farooq sahab himself said they all (stone-pelters) are nationalists and now he is saying all those nationalists are being paid by the PDP government to resort to stone-pelting. I think Farooq sahab is confused."
She said her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed worked to find a solution to the 70-year-old Kashmir issue but no headway was made in this direction after his tenure ended. The chief minister said her government was committed to healing “the wounds of Kashmir and restoring normalcy in the Valley. We will work to bring the state out of the unfortunate situation".
She acknowledged she was facing “big challenges" and said she was born to face such a situation. Mufti thanked the people of Jammu, saying they are “maintaining a high degree of peace and normalcy in the region. I am grateful to them. With the support of the people, I am facing these challenges."
The CM said the Centre was very serious about the Kashmir issue “because everyone loves Jammu and Kashmir, which is the crown of India. And to handle this crown and keep its position intact is the responsibility of everyone of us".