SRINAGAR: Aijaz Ahmed Mir is the valley’s youngest legislator, who has recently won the assembly elections by defeating his arch rival and NC candidate Showkat Ahmad Ganaie.

In his late twenties, Mir, a law graduate, got elected from valley’s largest and volatile constituency, Wachi, in South Kashmir’s Shopian district. Wachi, the hotbed of militancy has been neglected since 2002 as it didn’t get proper attention from the successive regimes, because of various reasons.

In a brief conversation with The Citizen, Mir, the youth face of the Valley and the son of a former NC legislator talks about the political scenario in the Valley,his shifting loyalty and development plans for his constituency, where militancy has witnessed a steep increase over the years.

Q: Your father belonged to NC and was an MLA also. Why did you change loyalty and joined PDP?

It is not the NC it used to be in past. New people who have been allotted influential posts in the party have ruined it. There is no room for ideas now. Omar Abdullah is being misled by such people.

Q: There is suspense over the formation in government in J&K. Your party (PDP) patron Mufti Sayeed has held deliberations with every legislator to share their opinion over the alliance partner. Tell us about your views.

This is an internal affair of the party. I can’t make my views public because of some party issues. But I can tell that I want to be a part of that government which ensures development. People voted me when I promised them to make Wachi a model constituency. We are the most backward constituencies in terms of development.

Q: Now you are a young MLA and belong to a middle class family. You must be aware about the problems the youth are facing.

Few months ago I was one among the jobless youth. I know the problems of youth. It is frustrating at times. The plus point for me is that I am the part of the same society which has been forgotten. I will try my best to make some youth empowerment initiatives in my area.

Q: You talked about empowerment of youth. What initiatives you are going to take?

I want to promote religious tourism in my native constituency. We have some places like Nilnag, Vernag and Nawrah, which can be potential tourist resorts and have religious and historic importance. It will not only promote tourism but will help the locals to earn bread and butter.