Won’t allow closure of roads to PaK, suggests interaction between people of both sides
Srinagar: Calling for a revival of the peace process begun by Atal Behari Vajpayee in Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in her address to party workers at the Sonwar rally that her government will not allow the closure of routes to Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK).
“We want the Atal Behari Vajapayee-led peace process to come back. We want the Lahore declaration restored,” she said at her party’s foundation-day rally held at cricket stadium Sonwar.
The Lahore Declaration is a bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan signed on 21 February 1999 and ratified by the Parliaments of both countries the same year.
Mehbooba said in her address to party workers that nobody should even think of closing routes to Pakistan Administered Kashmir. “We know drugs and heroin was being smuggled. But it cannot be generalised. We should not even think of closing the routes. We will not allow that,” she said. “We want more routes to be opened. PDP started this mission in 2002. We want to take it forward, not backward.”
In the past two years, trucks coming from PaK have been seized a few times with what police have claimed to be tonnes of heroin and drugs.
Mehbooba also suggested that interactions between students and legislators of the two divided parts of Kashmir be encouraged. “Let them come and see what happens here. Similarly, students and legislators from here can go there,” she said.
Apart from Mufti, senior PDP leaders including Muzaffar Hussain Beig, Mehboob Baig, Sartaj Madni, Basharat Bukhari, Altaf Bukhari, Nizamudin Bhat and others were present at the rally.
Mufti said that today’s Kashmiris were not scared of policeman, STF or army. “If a policeman or a civilian is killed, he is a Kashmiri. Kashmiris are suffering. I invite NC, Congress, BJP, Communists and other parties to sit together and alleviate the pain of Kashmiris. Let us collectively find out the panacea for this perpetual pain. It is a collective cause,” she said.
“We have been working in difficult situations. Kashmir is the crown of India. India is incomplete without its crown. Jammu and Kashmir should be taken out of uncertainty,” she said.
Referring to the complaints of workers that PDP leaders and cabinet ministers were not listening to their issues, the chief minister said that the government was going through tough times in the past two years.
“I know you are the same workers who stood against Ikhwanis (pro-government militia), against police task force, and against the
bad security situation. You prevailed upon all adversaries,” Mufti said.
“The times have changed now. There are new challenges confronting us. I know you are suffering on account of certain things. You have issues. Believe in Allah and leave those worries to me. I will shoulder them. It was due to your support that I could face the difficult times. You stood your ground, so did I. We could not provide aid to you due to the difficult circumstances,” she said.
She said that if government officers will not listen to the complaints of workers, they will be removed immediately.