Mehbooba Mufti Early Life
Mehbooba Mufti, born 22 May 1959 in Akhran Nowpora, to the former chief minister, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. Mehbooba Mufti earned her law degree from the University of Kashmir. Ms Mufti is seen by many in India as a “militant mainstream politician” – with a history of showing solidarity with families of militants. She refused to take office immediately after her father’s death, insisting on some “confidence building measures”, but finally managed to broker a “secret” deal with Mr Modi in a recent meeting. She has termed the meeting “positive and satisfying” but not given any details yet. Although the PDP was launched in 1999 with her father as its president and Ms Mufti as its vice-president, much of the credit for building the party goes to her. She organised the party ranks and led its campaigns in the state as well as in parliamentary elections.
In his last press conference in early December, Mufti Sayeed had dropped broad hints about transferring the mantle to his daughter. “She is efficient. She built the party and she is better connected with the masses. I think she is talented enough to run the state,” he said. Ms Mufti took the plunge into politics in 1996 as a Congress party candidate when the Indian government decided to hold elections to the assembly in Jammu and Kashmir. The unassuming, soft-spoken Ms Mufti was an unknown face until she filed her nomination papers for the polls.
Mehbooba Mufti Biography and Profile
Born on 22 May 1959 in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, to the former chief minister, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, Mehbooba Mufti, a divorcee, has two daughters.
During the 2014 elections, she said her only regret was that she was not able to give more time to her daughters.
“But they also know that it was not possible,” she says, adding: “I am a full-time political worker.”
Mehbooba Mufti Education
Mehbooba Mufti earned her law degree from the University of Kashmir.
Mehbooba Mufti is one of the founding members of party. She served as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, from 4th April 2016 to 19th June 2018. She was the first woman Chief Minister of J&K. She currently holds the responsibility of the president of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mehbooba Mufti braved threats and moved ahead to go through the litmus test of politics in a volatile Kashmir Valley that had been reeling under a separatist insurgency since the late 1980s. Her election in a conservative society like Kashmir was significant. A law graduate from Kashmir University, Ms Mufti in 2014 December helped her father realise the dream of becoming the state’s chief minister – a post he had waited for nearly 27 years.
Mr Sayeed was in the Congress party in 1996 and when many were reluctant to fight elections under the Indian constitution and more so under the banner of a national party in Kashmir, he convinced his wife Gulshan Begum to stand for election in Pahalgam and his daughter Mehbooba to run in the Bijbehara constituency.
Ms Mufti won the election but her mother lost. Since then, there has been no looking back. Ms Mufti acknowledges that she came into politics by accident. “But when I entered politics, I found that this was the space that could be used for making lives of people better,” she says.
At the peak of militancy when Indian armed forces were often accused of human rights abuses, she struck a chord by visiting the families of militants who had been killed. She would wail and weep with the grieving women in burnt villages and sombre homes, making steady inroads into the “hearts” of the people.
In 1999, Ms Mufti and her father quit the Congress realising that the party was no longer acceptable to the people of Kashmir who were fighting for separation from India. They then launched the PDP. In 2002, the PDP formed a government in the state with the Congress party as its coalition partner and Mr Sayeed was appointed the chief minister. Three years later, in 2005, he stepped down to allow the Congress to take the chief minister’s post.
In January 2009, the PDP sat in opposition when the Congress decided to form a coalition government with the National Conference party, led by Omar Abdullah. In the 2014 elections, Ms Mufti led from the front, going door-to-door to meet people and seek support for the PDP candidates.
“Her dedication and hard work was unmatched,” said a party worker, adding that she would leave to campaign at 8am and return home at 9 at night. All the hard work paid off – after winning the largest number of seats in the election, the party returned to power in alliance with Mr Modi’s BJP.
Mehbooba Mufti Quick Facts
- Mehbooba Mufti started her journey in 1996 by becoming one of the most popular members elected from Bijbehara on an Indian National Congress ticket.
- Mehbooba quickly made a mark as the leader of the opposition in the assembly. She became party vice-president of newly found J&K Peoples Democratic Party in 1999.
- In 1999, Ms Mufti and her father quit the Congress realising that the party was no longer acceptable to the people of Kashmir who were fighting for separation from India. They then launched the PDP.
- Mehbooba Mufti resigned from state assembly and later won the Pahalgam seat in the state assembly from South Kashmir in assembly elections of 2002.
- Mehbooba Mufti was elected to the Lok Sabha from Anantnag seat in 2004 and 2014.
- After her father’s death in January 2016, when he was heading the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, she took forward the same alliance with Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the second time the BJP and the PDP formed a government in Jammu and Kashmir.
- 4 April 2016, Mehbooba Mufti took the oath and became the first woman Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
- 25 June 2016 Mehbooba Mufti won an Assembly seat in a by-election in Anantnag with the highest margin in any recent elections there.
- Born on 22 May 1959 in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, Mehbooba Mufti is a divorcee.
- During the 2014 elections, she said her only regret was that she was not able to give more time to her daughters.
Public Safety Act
India extended the detention of four political leaders in Kashmir who had been held by authorities since August to quell dissent after the central government stripped the region of its autonomy, two senior officials said on Friday 7 February, 2020. The latest detention order was issued under the draconian Public Safety Act, which allows detention without charges for up to two years, the officials in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir state said.
The four included two former chief ministers of India’s only Muslim majority state, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, and two regional party leaders, Ali Mohmmad Sagar and Sartaj Madni, the officials said. They were originally held under a law that allowed a maximum of six months, and their detention was about to expire.
“The law does not allow preventive detention beyond six months. So they had to be either released or booked under PSA,” said one government official on condition of anonymity.
“Several other regional leaders who have also completed six months under preventive detention are likely to be booked under PSA,” the second official said.
The officials requested anonymity due to the sensitivity over security matters. The home ministry in a reply before the parliament on Thursday said 389 people in Kashmir were already booked under PSA since August last year. Some of those detained have been put under house arrest, while others have been taken elsewhere. Rights group Amnesty International has described the PSA as a “lawless law”.
Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti confirmed her mother’s detention under the law on Twitter:
“Slapping the draconian PSA… is expected from an autocratic regime that books nine-year-olds for ‘seditious remarks’. Question is how much longer will we act as bystanders as they desecrate what this nation stands for?” said Iltija in a tweet.
The removal of autonomy and subsequent crackdown in Kashmir drew international criticism, and diplomats from several countries say they have raised human rights concerns with India’s foreign ministry. Last month January 2020, India’s Supreme Court rebuked the federal government for shutting down Internet and telecommunications in the state. A ban on public meetings remains in place, but unrest seen in the weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped Kashmir of its autonomy has died down, and an uneasy calm prevails amid a heavy security presence.
Modi’s government has argued that the detention of politicians and internet blackout were needed to maintain order in a region where security forces have been fighting a long-running separatist insurgency encouraged by neighbouring Pakistan. Islamabad denies giving material support to the insurgency. Ahead of scrapping of Kashmir’s autonomy, India’s federal government had detained around 5,000 people including businessmen, civil society members, lawyers and activists to prevent protests breaking out. Kashmir lay at the heart of two of the three wars fought by India and Pakistan since independence in 1947, and the dispute between the now nuclear armed neighbours over the Himalayan region remains unresolved.
Mehbooba Mufti Family
Mehbooba Mufti Father: Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.
Mehbooba Mufti Mother: Gulshan Ara.
Mehbooba Mufti Children: Irtiqa Iqbal, Iltija Iqbal.
Mehbooba Mufti Biography and Profile