Public representatives to drive J&K out of troubles: Mehbooba

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/13/2018 2:14:17 AM Front Page

Pitches for better Indo-Pak ties, using 'geography' to write a new 'history'

JAMMU: Strongly advocating dialogue to sort out issues, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today underscored the role of public representatives in redressing issues of the State and getting it out of difficulties, besides pitching strongly for re-opening all historic routes in the State, reiterating that Jammu & Kashmir can become a gateway to Central Asia, while stressing on the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan saying that it is Jammu & Kashmir which bears the brunt of hostility between the two neighbouring countries.
Replying to the discussion on Motion of Thanks on Governor's Address in the Legislative Council today, the Chief Minister said the role of public representatives is very crucial in getting Jammu & Kashmir ahead on the road of development, peace and progress. She appreciated the concern of every section of political opinion in this regard.
Mehbooba Mufti said the need of the hour is to get the State out of the vicious cycle of violence. She appealed all shades of opinion in the State and the Country to come forward and play their role in getting Jammu& Kashmir out of uncertainties and bloodshed.
"For how long shall we be seeing the dead bodies of our youth. The cycle has to end and for that everyone has to play its role," she said in her appeal.
Terming dialogue as the only way ahead, the Chief Minister said appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor last year was a major decision to undertake sustained dialogue in the State, hoping that people from different shades of opinion would join the consultation process and it moves ahead with positivity.
The Chief Minister also stressed on the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan saying that it is Jammu & Kashmir which bears the brunt of hostility between the two neighbouring countries. "we have to go back to the era of Vajpayee ji who opened a new chapter of trust and friendship in which the Pak leadership vowed not to allow any anti Indian activity on their soil", she said in her speech.
Asserting that she wishes for normalisation of relations between the two countries and that the state become a bridge of peace, faith and trust between India and Pakistan, the chief minister said, "There is no way out without talks with Pakistan. If you have to restore peace and end bloodshed in the state, you will have to better relations between India and Pakistan."
"We have been saying that 200 militants were killed and they (Pakistan) will send another 200 militants. Infiltration is on. During prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's time, Pervez Musharraf had promised to stop infiltration. But, infiltration is still on," she said.
"India is a big country and the prime minister has a big heart. We should try for ensuring better relations. We want peace and normalcy in J-K and also better Indo-Pak relations," Mehbooba said.
Pakistan has to understand that that Jammu and Kashmir has written its future and the only thing which is now possible is that the state can become a peace bridge, she said.
"The problem (in Kashmir) will be resolved if there will be good relations. Our problem will be resolved if J-K becomes a peace bridge between India and Pakistan instead of a battle ground
"Whatever we have to get, we will get it from the country (India). We ask Pakistan to stop infiltration and stop sending guns. Let us live together," Mehbooba said.
The chief minister said that the Indian Constitution is the "mother of J-K's Constitution and we can get it from here and there is nothing beyond it."
Pitching strongly for re-opening all historic routes in the State, the Chief Minister said given its strategic local, Jammu & Kashmir can become a gateway to Central Asia. "We can't change history. But let us use our geography to write a new history", she told the House while making a case for opening of more routes across LoC.
"Let us explore opportunities of Tashkant, Kashgar, Iran which have been historic routes through which Islam came to Kashmir. It was this tolerant Islam which groomed us to think on rational and humanitarian lines while deciding our fate in 1947," the chief minister said.
The state should become the gateway to central Asia. It should start from Jammu, then Kashmir and finally end in Ladakh, Mehbooba suggested.
"We should also open up LoC roads and allow people to go and see central and south Asia. There are countries beyond Pakistan, which should also become part of this journey. We have to look toward these routes in central Asia, from where Islam came to J-K. But in 1947, the routes were closed," she said.
The Chief Minister said youth engagement remains the focus of her Government and efforts are being made for honing their skills and capacity building for a more constructive role in the development of the State.

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