Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday made a controversial statement when she suggested that the youth in the Kashmir Valley have no option left but to pick up arms.

Addressing the press today, Mufti said militancy has gone up ever since the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was first put under President’s rule and then bifurcated after the abrogation of Article 370 last year. ‘Militancy has increased in their tenure. 10-15 youth are together joining militancy from each village,” she suggested.

The former J&K chief minister alleged this was happening because the voice of the people was being suppressed.

“Because you have suppressed the voice, people don’t have an option left. A youth thinks he can either go to jail or pick up arms. So he thinks he better to pick up arms and die. Because you don’t allow people to speak,” she stated.

Mufti further advocated dialogue with Pakistan and China.

“If we can talk to China, then why can’t we talk to Pakistan? We have been pleading with China to give us our land bank,” she told the press.

The remarks came on a day when the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) moved the Supreme Court seeking an early hearing on a batch of pleas that have challenged the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state.

The PAGD is a coalition of seven mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir. It came into existence on October 15 with an aim to seek the restoration of the erstwhile state’s special status.

National Conference, People’s Democratic Party, People’s Conference, Awami National Conference, CPM, CPI and J&K People’s Movement are part of the amalgam.

Article 370 was abrogated on August 5 last year while the state was officially bifurcated on October 31 last year.

Mufti, who had been under house arrest since August last year, was released just weeks back.