Mehbooba for betterment of Indo-Pak ties

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today advocated strong and friendly India- Pakistan relations, while appealing to the leadership of both the countries for steps for the betterment of ties to reduce acrimony, violence and for an atmosphere of friendship between the two neighbours.

“For how long should humanity be left to bleed? The leadership of both the countries should rise to the occasion and change the hate mongering between the two into a peace narrative,” she told a gathering at the mausoleum of her father and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed at Bijbehera in south Kashmir on his second death anniversary.

Mehbooba said a friendly relationship between the two countries would have a positive bearing on the situation in the state, which had seen enough bloodshed over the last three decades.

“Violence has inflicted only miseries upon the people and the state needs to be taken out of this vicious cycle. This is the main objective to stitch the alliance (with the BJP) to form the government in the state and my government will continue to pursue this goal with all seriousness,” the PDP leader said.

She added that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were the worst sufferers of the Indo-Pak hostilities.

“Deaths on both sides of the border and killings inside the state rob us of peace and only the graveyards are getting filled, devouring the sons of the soil.

“Dialogue is the only way out and I appeal to the governments of India and Pakistan to resume the talks and resolve the mutual issues amicably. Dialogue alone will end mayhem and destruction and bring peace,” Mehbooba said.

Paying rich tributes to Sayeed, the chief minister said he was the architect of a vision and mission, the sole objective of which was to get Jammu and Kashmir out of the miseries and give its people prosperous and peaceful times.

“Opening of more routes, better neighbourly relations between the two countries and more people to people contacts were the immediate results of this doctrine. Regretfully, these things were not taken so seriously after the late leader demitted office in 2005.

“The vision and philosophy of the late leader are becoming more relevant with every passing day as the situation in the subcontinent obtains,” she said.

On the occasion, Mehbooba also outlined the measures taken by her government for the welfare of the people.

The chief minister said she honoured the promise of withdrawal of cases against the youth and regularisation of 60,000 casual and daily rated workers.

She claimed that she had secured an adequate financial assistance from the Centre, which would change the development scenario in the state and create huge employment opportunities.

“But it all requires a peaceful atmosphere. Many works could not be executed in 2016 due to the unrest and unfortunately, the funds got lapsed,” she said.

Earlier, the chief minister paid floral tributes at her father’s mausoleum and offered prayers there.

State ministers, MPs, MLAs, senior officers and a large number of people had also come to the Dara Shikoh Park to offer prayers to the former chief minister.

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