Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti on Monday stoked a fresh controversy with her remark that youngsters in the region have no option but to pick up gun in their hands.
"Youth is without jobs. Youngsters don't have any option than to pick up arms. Terror recruitment has increased. People from other states are getting jobs in Jammu and Kashmir," the Peoples Democratic Party chief said.
She said that the Modi government needs to pursue the Vajpayee doctrine. "The youth are feeling disenchanted," she claimed.
"The state of Jammu is worse than Kashmir," she opined.
On Article 370, she said that "we associated ourselves with India on a condition that our special status will remain intact".
"Our land, jobs and other things will be for the people of the valley and not for others. The darkness post the abrogation of article 370 has engulfed the valley as well as Jammu," she said.
She added that the PDP's stand is that Jammu and Kashmir should not be a cause of confrontation but a bridge between India and its neighbours.
Mufti had earlier said that she would go to any extent to safeguard the future of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir by striving for the restoration of the erstwhile state's special status.
The Centre had in August 2019 revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into two union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir division; Ladakh division.
Several Jammu and Kashmir parties including the NC and PDP have floated a new alliance -- Peoples Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration. NC's Farooq Abdullah has been appointed as the chairman of the alliance. Mufti is the depty chairman. The alliance's objective is to restore the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.