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My dad will do well, says Azad's daughter

Special Correspondent

"It was a surprise for us"

SRINAGAR: Sofiya Azad, daughter of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, was one of many who were surprised at the decision of the Congress high command to give her father the reins of the troubled State.

The 19-year-old Sofiya, who wants to become a print journalist, is aware of the challenges her father faces but is confident that he "will be successful as he has always been." "Yes, it was a surprise for us. We were not expecting him to be Chief Minister at this time and we thought Mr. Mufti will continue for two months more," she told The Hindu soon after Mr. Azad was administered the oath of office.

Sofiya and her mother Shameema (Dev) Azad were busy attending to friends who had specially flown in from Delhi to attend the ceremony. "I want him to do whatever he can for his people who are facing problems on account of the earthquake," Sofiya said. "I have faith in him and I am confident he will do his best in this office as well." She said it was painful to see people suffering in this beautiful place. "I think people have been hurt by both sides. We should restore their faith in the system."

A proud daughter

Asked whether she would like her father to be the Prime Minister of India or Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Sofiya quipped, "I would ask him to leave both and stay home because he has always been working. But I am a proud daughter today."

Though she did not rule out joining politics some day she asserted that she wanted to be a journalist. "I want to be an invisible reporter who works out of people's lives." Mr. Azad's wife Shameema is a popular singer and their son Saddam has just returned from London after finishing his studies.

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