ANANTNAG: Asserting that Islam’s message of peace was too loud to be lost in the din of violence perpetrated by some people in its name, Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Sunday said that peace would not return through guns but dialogue.
“Peace will not return with guns but dialogue. Innocent people in Syria, Iraq and Yemen are fleeing and taking shelter in Europe to escape bloodshed in their countries. Leaders like Chancellor of Germany and Prime Minister of England are taking a lead to provide succor to the refugees who are in a despicable condition,” Mufti was quoted by an official spokesman.
The spokesman said that the chief minister was addressing a gathering of people after inaugurating South Kashmir Sports Festival at Government Degree College for Boys.
Vowing to end the political instability prevalent in the state for the past 70 years , Mufti claimed that he enjoys the faith and confidence of people in taking the state forward on the path of peace and development.
Promising people of annihilating distances and giving them their rights, Mufti Sayeed claimed that J&K was just like a locked jail with no keys in sight when he took over in 2002.
“We build roads, strengthened institutions and encouraged people-to-people contact, including confidence building measures across the LoC. I promise to take forward that agenda again,” he stated.
Advocating opening of more cross-LoC points to take trade and travel beyond divided families, the chief minister said he travelled to Kaman Post and Salamabad twice to convey his message of peace so that stability returns to the region.
He said he has promised to make Uri a smart town and he will soon visit Chakan da Bagh in Poonch, to take firsthand appraisal of the cross-LoC trade and travel there.
“My thought is the thought of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. I have no yearning for power. I want to bring a positive change and give people their right and restore the glory of this wonderful state,” he added.
Reflecting on his decision to ally with BJP, Mufti Sayeed said he had the option of even forming the government with Congress. “Taking cognizance of the wishes of the people of all the regions of the state, I chose to form a stable government with BJP to usher in a new era of development in the state,” he said.
Mufti Sayeed said he has a big vision for J&K which will see equitable development of all the three regions of the state. “We will practically demonstrate our resolve to improve communication network, education, health, rural and urban development,” he emphasised.
The chief minister said it is the responsibility of the state to ensure optimum utilization of funds allocated under Centrally-Sponsored Schemes amounting to Rs. 6,000 crore. “We have to build our capacities to be able to expend these funds in full, which would be a great achievement for the state,” he added.
Describing Anantnag as a knowledge hub, the chief minister said the district has produced veterans like Mirza Mohammad Afzal Beg and Syed Mir Qasim.
Referring to the efforts of the government in giving new direction to the education sector by establishing smart classes and computer labs across the state, Mufti Sayeed said this initiative has been immensely appreciated and the same model is being recommended for implementation in the rest of India.
In the higher education segment, he said steps are being taken to reorient the professional courses offered by the universities and colleges to enhance the possibilities of the placement of the pass-outs in country’s prestigious private firms, so as to address the larger issue of unemployment in the state.