Says government alive to condition of victims of ‘senseless violence’
SRINAGAR: Taking a visible u-turn from her previous stance that only 5% people were behind the ongoing anti-India uprising in Kashmir, chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, on Wednesday said majority of stakeholders want resolution of the issue.
While handing over appointment orders under SRO-43 to the next of kin of deceased government employees, she, according to an official spokesman, said, “Majority of stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir want resolution of the issues through peaceful political means”.
“Unfortunately, the some sections of the youth resorting to violence are impeding the resolution process instead of facilitating it,” she was quoted as saying.
The statement comes two days after she, in her speech in Jammu, said that “a section of people who themselves are not facing bullets and canes are instigating children and teenagers to indulge in violence.”
“New Delhi must not see people of Kashmir through one prism as only five per cent of the people are trouble-creators and the rest 95 per cent of them want to send their children to schools, open shops, perform their duties and live peacefully,” she had said, seconding Sajad Gani Lone who had made similar utterances earlier.
Mehbooba earned criticism for calling the uprising a doing of just five per cent of the population.
In Wednesday’s speech, she stressed on the need for creating conducive atmosphere for reviving the dialogue and resolution process.
“Violence has changed nothing on political spectrum of Jammu and Kashmir, but brought mayhem, miseries, economic disaster, academic breakdown and social disorder to the state,” she said.
“We have witnessed a gory era of death and destruction for the past 26 years. Has it changed anything on ground except inflicting deep and pestering wounds on Kashmiris?” she asked.
Mehbooba said that instead of facilitating resolution of the issues, ‘violence’ only left behind a “trail of tragedies and pain” in almost every household in Kashmir.
“If resolution of political issues through dialogue is not the way out, then what is the way out of the present imbroglio? Tell me what is the solution, other than sitting across the table and talking in a peaceful and amicable atmosphere?” she asked.
Calling for winning the hearts and minds of the people, the chief minister said that the “reconciliation and resolution process” started in 2002 by the then-NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee had shown “tangible results on the ground”.
“The major confidence building initiatives taken during that period had not only helped positively transform the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, but in the whole sub-continent,” she said.
The chief minister said her government “strongly believes” that “nothing is valid and should be happening for Jammu & Kashmir except with the active involvement of its people”.
The “uncertainties and recurrent turmoil” has “adversely affected” almost all the spheres of life in Kashmir, she said, adding that the youth become its “specific target”, as the “violence has consumed nearly an entire young generation”.
The society, she said, can’t afford to lose more youth now, and measures have to be taken to safeguard their lives and future.
“The need, therefore, is not only to safeguard the precious lives of the youth but to create increasing opportunities for them to develop their personality and their functional capability and make them economically productive and socially useful,” she said.
Mehbooba said the government “is alive to the miserable condition” of the distressed families that lost their children to the “senseless violence”.
“We will try to work out a mechanism to ensure a secure and dignified living for the kith and kin of the victims of violence so that their families don’t have to run from pillar to post to live a normal life,” she said.