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Centre Holding Talks With NE Militants, But Treating Civilians In J-K As Militants: Mehbooba

The PDP president Mehbooba Mufti was addressing a gathering of party workers and supporters at the mausoleum of her father and PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on his eighth death anniversary.

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Mehbooba Mufti
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PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday the Centre was holding talks with militants in the northeast, but treating ordinary civilians in Jammu and Kashmir as militants.

"We will not surrender, we will not raise the white flag. If you talk to us with dignity, we will respond with respect. However, if you talk through batons like you did in Bafliaz, it will not work," Mufti said at a function at Bijbehara in Anantnag district.

The PDP president was addressing a gathering of party workers and supporters at the mausoleum of her father and PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on his eighth death anniversary.

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Mehbooba Mufti said while the Centre was holding talks with the militants in the Northeast, it had branded ordinary civilians in Jammu and Kashmir as militants.

"There (in the northeast) you talk to militants while in Jammu and Kashmir you have branded ordinary people as militants. You have filled the jails by carrying out (indiscriminate) arrests. The Enforcement Directorate, NIA, SIA raids .... does anyone treat their own people like this?" she asked.

The former chief minister said the Centre should learn from the approach taken by her late father in dealing with separatists.

"Learn something from Mufti sahib ... he tried to connect the hearts of people. He gave a way to separatists also so that they can live within this country with dignity. Mufti never said a wrong thing.... he always held on to one flag only.. but he only said the people of Jammu and kashmir want peace with dignity," she added.

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The highlight of the function was the return to the PDP of party co-founder Muzaffar Hussain Baig and his wife Safina Baig, who is chairperson of District Development Council Baramulla, after nearly four years.

Baig, while addressing the gathering, said Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the first person who spoke about the healing touch policy after the eruption of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.

"As far as Mufti's politics is concerned, he was the first Muslim home minister of India. Till date no other Muslim has been made Home minister of the country. He was the first person who talked about healing touch after the eruption of militancy ... he said the militants were our own children who are being misled by another country," he added.

Baig said the PDP founder gave a message of harmony, rising above various divides in the society.

"He gave a message of harmony, rising above the urban-rural divide, the Pahari-Gujjar differences or the Hindu-Muslim divide. I will pray to Allah to have mercy on all of us and grant us a life of dignity," he added.

The return of Baigs to the PDP assumes significance as it comes less than four months ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

Baig offered fatiha (special prayers) at the mausoleum of Sayeed at Bijbhera in the south Kashmir district.

Baig, who was a co-founder of the PDP in late 1990s, was made patron of the party following Sayeed's death in 2016.

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A former deputy chief minister, Baig quit the party in 2020 and was tipped to join the People's Conference led by Sajad Lone.

While Baig's wife, Safina, did join Lone's party, the former Lok Sabha member from Baramulla did not make an official announcement about his status.

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