Asks India and Pakistan to shun confrontation
Reasi (Jammu): Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday attended here the passing-out parade of policemen who completed the 13th basic recruits training course. In her address to the newly inducted policemen, she said that the police in Kashmir have to face the challenge of their own people who fight against them in the field.
“A 15-year-old challenges your authority. The child stands in front of you and at times carries stones in his hand. In such a situation, what will you do? Your job is very tough and challenging,” she said.
“But I believe, you – the qualified cops – will face such a situation with the attitude of parenting rather than policing,” she said. “Wherever you will face these children, your role must be that of a loving father.”
The police parade was held at the subsidiary police training centre, Talwara. The top brass of the police department was present.
“Aanay waala waqt aap kay liye imtihaan ka waqt hai,” Mehbooba told the young policemen. “There is no doubt that J&K Police is the best police force in entire India. Kyunki aap ka muqaabla koi aam cheez kay saath nahi hai.”
“The biggest role of police in J&K is to restore peace and get the people out of the disaster that has befallen the state,” she said.
“How will you win the heart of a youth whom you face almost every time in the field?” she asked the newly inducted cops. “Police need to change their image among the people,” she advised.
Mehbooba said that the biggest issue facing J&K was the growing confrontation between India and Pakistan. “We get to listen from both the sides, eent ka jawab patthar say dengay… But I don’t know what is eent and what is patthar. I only know that yesterday one of our soldiers was killed; some days back a fidayeen attack took place; and before that an IED blast took place,” Mehbooba said. “And a lady was killed during an encounter who left behind a baby of 2 years.”
She referred to the incident of army firing in Srinagar on Saturday in which two civilians were injured. “There was a naka. The vehicle did not stop and bullets had to be fired,” she said, illustrating the difficulties of policing.
She said that the infiltration of militants from across the border was “our challenge”.
“This challenge had a different shape in the past seventy years but it took the shape of gun in the past thirty years,” she said. “But I believe,” she said quoting former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, “we can change our friends but not our neighbours.”
“We are facing huge challenges to restore peace as our soldiers, policemen and civilians are dying on borders and in mainland J&K… our people are caught in trying times,” she said. “But I believe that this eent ka jawab pathar say tradition from top levels (of India and Pakistan) must stop,” she said in reference to the statement made by Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat regarding Pakistan which invited a counter statement from Pakistan’s DG ISPR.
She suggested adopting the same route as taken by Vajpayee when he travelled to Lahore and “sought promise from General Parvez Musharraf that infiltration will stop and the territory of Pakistan won’t be used against India”.
“I’m happy that ceasefire was maintained on borders for at least 8-10 years (since then)… peace returned and cross LoC routes were opened,” she said.
“But, today, people living on borders are living a disturbed life,” she said. Referring to the announcement of 14,000 bunkers to be constructed along the border, she said, “This is being done so that people can hide in bunkers whenever there is firing. But this is a time when people in these border regions should have got hospitals, schools, colleges, and jobs.”
“Are we reverting to times when humans lived in caves?” she asked.
In an appeal to Pakistan’s government and army, Mehbooba said, “I believe Pakistan understands our situation and I urge it to recall its promise to Vajpayee ji that ceasefire will be maintained and infiltration will be stopped.”
“We, too, are not able to stop infiltration,” she said. “200 infiltrators killed are followed by another 200. And now fidayeen have been added, which will be a tough challenge for us.”
“I hope that Pakistan understands all this and on the basis of humanity cooperates in stopping the bloodshed,” she said.
She also appealed to the government and people of India, “The confrontation with Pakistan adversely affects the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We need to try for reconciliation as was done by Vajpayee ji.”