NEW DELHI: Pakistan as well as armed militants and Kashmir’s Hurriyat Conference deserve credit for allowing peaceful polls in the state recently, Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed said shortly after he was sworn in as the head of a new coalition government in Srinagar on Sunday.
“I want to say on record and I have told this to the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), that we must credit the Hurriyat, Pakistan and militant outfits for the conduct of assembly elections in the state,” Mr Sayeed was quoted as telling a media conference shortly after he took the oath of office.
Mr Modi whose Bharatiya Janata Party is part of the ruling coalition was present during the ceremony.
Flanked by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh of BJP and cabinet minister Haseeb Drabu, Mr Sayeed said: “God forbid if they (militants) had done something. It would not have been possible to have smooth conduct of the elections.”
Thanking the “people from across the border” too, he said, “People from across the border made the atmosphere conducive. They also have assets — Hurriyat, militants... if they had done something (during the election) such a participation of people would not have been possible. This gives us hope”.
The BJP refused to be drawn into the controversy. “The peaceful polls in Jammu and Kashmir, was conducted with the support of the Election Commission and other security agencies, besides those who believe in the Indian Constitution,” said Bharatiya Janata Party National Secretary Shrikant Sharma.
Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2015