Srinagar: Claiming that Bihar election results have done a "great job" in answering communal elements, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti today hoped that "fringe elements" acting in the name of Hinduism will be checked, drawing comparison with elements of ISIS who misuse Islam.
She also made it clear that the PDP-BJP alliance in the state was mainly aimed at taking the peace initiatives of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in resolving the Kashmir issue to its logical conclusion.
"In our country tolerance is the strength and if we don't stop these so-called fringe elements... What is happening in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq... Because those are also fringe elements who are misusing the name of Islam.
"So in our country there are fringe elements who are misusing the name of Hinduism and they also compare it with nationalism which is worse," she said while speaking at the HT Leadership summit here.
Mehbooba, whose party PDP heads the coalition government with BJP in Jammu and Kashmir, said Bihar elections had done a "great job" to the "fringe elements" who misuse the name Hinduism comparing it with "nationalism".
The daughter of state Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was asked a question as to how her party justifies noises including by some Union ministers of "go to Pakistan".
She said "the mentality is the same... It is the thought process that counts."
"... When people are trying to fight a battle with rising prices, don't get onions, and suddenly some people start dictating as to which meat should one consume? This is not done. This is not acceptable," she said.
In reply to a question why many people are getting attracted to radical groups like ISIS, she said, "There are elements among the Muslim who have problem" in the world but in India "we need to expand the constituency which is with us.
"So while dealing with the problem of ISIS, we should not blame Muslims for everything. Though Indian Muslims are someone who need to be saluted because there has been militancy in Kashmir but we have never seen an Indian Muslim there.
"We should not be influenced by ISIS that we start suspecting every Muslim because that will be furthering their (ISIS) cause.
About radicalisation of youths in the state, she refrained from giving a direct answer and rather said that people of this country should show some trust in the youth of the state.
She asked people of the rest of country, corporates and business houses to welcome youths of Kashmir and give them respect rather than suspecting them.
"One of my daughters was born in Delhi. For her Delhi is her second home. So similarly I wish people do not suspect youths from the state," she said.
Defending the decision of her party to have a coalition
with BJP despite having some upsets within her own party, Mehbooba said, "When my father took this decision he did not think about electoral politics. I think he thought more about generations, the new generations of Jammu and Kashmir.
"He thought more about the country, he thought more about the people and also bridge the gap between Jammu and Kashmir and also to take Vajpayee initiative to logical conclusion."
She said if politically this alliance had to be weighed, it may be a 'ghate ka sauda' (not profitable electorally) but this has been done for the coming generations of the state. At least this is his (Mufti Sayeed's) conviction."
"And if this is a success, it will be a success story for the entire country," she said while terming it as a major political experiment after 1947 when the state had joined with India.
Asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi was following Vajpayee's initiative, she said, "With the passage of time, I think he is coming around it" and welcomed the move of a proposed visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan.
"There is no alternative to Vajpayee's initiative of reaching out to people of Jammu and Kashmir in which somewhere we have to accommodate Pakistan," Mehbooba said.
"India also needs to join hands with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh in fighting terrorism. At the end, we have to understand that Pakistan is also the worst sufferer of terrorism," she said.
On Article 370, the PDP President was firm that there can be no fiddling with it as the state enjoys the special status.
"The state joined secular India when Hindu states were joining India and Muslim states were with Pakistan. We took a decision against the tide so we need to be treated specially.
"And we are happy that we took the decision as we got special status. Now what has been given cannot be taken back in bits and pieces as that amounts to stealing and dishonesty," she said while referring to questions about revoking of Article 370.
To a question whether it was affecting the PDP-BJP alliance in the state which saw death of a young trucker being killed by such fringe elements, she said, "The murderers have been booked and tough action has been taken. This is what counts. Statements can be there but at the end it's the action that counts."
As she settled down for the interaction, Mehbooba was asked a question about the possibility of her succeeding her father as chief minister. She replied, "I am not comfortable with this question please. I don't want to think about it. I am working for the people and will continue to do so.