SRINAGAR: “Give me peace, I will pursue dialogue”, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday appealed to the people of the state, saying her government’s agenda was to take them out of the mess of violence.
Seeking cooperation from the public, she said the process of dialogue and reconciliation could be carried forward if peace was maintained in the state.
“Give me peace. I will purse dialogue, the opening of routes like Kargil-Skardu, Jammu-Sialkote, Nowshehra-Jhangar etc. If there is peace I wish people on both sides would march together on the path of growth and development,” Mehbooba said, addressing a public meeting in the Devsar area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The chief minister laid the foundation of some key development projects in the area.
Mehbooba said the agenda of her government has been to take people of the state out of the mess of violence, initiation of the consultative process in the state to sort out issues and develop Jammu and Kashmir as a model state of the country.
“Some movement on this agenda has been made and many decisions of huge public welfare like withdrawal of cases against around 10,000 youth, regularisation of 61,000 daily wagers, a massive economic and reconstruction plan were initiated by my government during the last three years,” she said.
The chief minister said the situation across the borders in the state was not “encouraging” with “deaths and destruction” being reported so frequently that there is a demand for construction of bunkers from the villagers.
“This is unfortunate. In the 21st century when they should be demanding better schools, good hospitals and efficient services, they are asking for bunkers to protect themselves,” she said, adding that the people of the state continue to bear the brunt of partition and acrimony between India and Pakistan.
Mehbooba said she is pained to see that a common citizen of the state is the ultimate victim of this whole scenario of uncertainty, violence and acrimony.
“It’s the people of the state alone whole get killed, their businesses suffered, education affected and what not,” she said.
Mehbooba said when she recently went to Ajmer to pay obeisance at the Dargah of Hazrat Khawaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti, she met an officer there who was all praise for the talent and intelligence of youth from the state.
“Alas, they (the youth) are imposing a self-afflicting pain upon themselves which hurts them only and nobody else,” she said.
Appealing to the youth to desist from going on the path of violence, the chief minister said the world is witness to the fact that it has not resolved any issues, rather it gives birth to many more.
Resorting to more violence, she reminded, leads to a response which ultimately leaves behind scars only.