Bimber Gali (Poonch): Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday made a passionate appeal for dialogue and reconciliation to get the state out of bloodbath and continued exchange of fire on the borders.
Addressing people here after visiting the family which lost five of its members in Sunday’s LoC shelling, the chief minister said it is unfortunate that the people of border areas in the state like Poonch, R S Pura, Nowshehra, Uri, Karnah etc are paying a heavy price in terms of continued shelling.
She appealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take lead in getting Jammu & Kashmir out of this bloodbath and help these people in leading peaceful and normal life. She also appealed the leadership of Pakistan to see the logic of peaceful engagement and dialogue with India as wars in the past have yielded nothing except devastation, death and destruction.
The CM recalled the “decade long peace along the borders and an atmosphere of reconciliation within the state which followed after the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s initiatives of reconciliation and dialogue in the state”.
“Prime Minister, Narendra Modi also took the bold step of visiting Lahore but unfortunately incidents like Pathankote almost stalled the process. Better late than never, when I last met PM, I appealed him to act like an elder brother and persuade Pakistan for a peaceful engagement and work jointly against poverty, unemployment and deprivation,” she said.
Mehbooba assured people that she would continue to advocate cessation of hostilities along the borders and between the two countries particularly those of Poonch, a major relief and a sense of a peaceful life.
Terming the partition of the country as unfortunate, the chief minister said the people of the state never ever had wanted that but unfortunately are paying a heavy price of the same. “What was the fault of these five persons or this elderly mother,” she asked while referring to Sunday’s victims of cross border shelling.
“It is very unfortunate when people elsewhere are demanding better facilities, residents of border areas in the state are asking for bunkers, which is no less than a grave because incentives of development and progress are only meaningful when one is alive to enjoy them,” she said.
Describing the residents of border areas as country’s first line of defence, Mehbooba Mufti said these are the people who have guarded the territorial integrity of the state and the country. She said her government has created two battalions of IRP comprising people of the border areas. She assured the people that whatever due would be done for them including creating avenues of employment, strengthening of health facilities and road connectivity.