In an open plea, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan to bury the hatchet and become friends for the sake of local Kashmiris and jawans on the border.
“Sarhad paar Pakistan ko bhi main guzarish karti hun, apne mulk ke wazire-e-azam ko bhi guzarish karti hun- Jammu Kashmir ke logon ko is daldal se nikalne ke liye, hamare jawano ki hifazat ke liye, aapas me sulah karo, baatcheet karo, dosti karo (I request Pakistanis across the border and my country’s Prime Minister to help the people of Jammu and Kashmir come out of this mess and protect our jawans by finding solutions, holding dialogues and becoming friends),” said Mufti while addressing a rally in Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Sunday.
Till now, the two archenemies had fought four major wars, apart from the several armed skirmishes between its soldiers on their over the 3,000-km-long border, which has resulted in several casualties.
The issue of Jammu and Kashmir has been a major bone of contention between the two countries since their independence. While the government of India has accused Pakistan of abetting terror activities in the state, Islamabad has held India responsible for undermining the rights of the people of the northern Indian state.
India has also accused Pakistan of supporting groups involved in terror activities in India, mainly in the restive state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan, despite India’s objection, continues to extend support to 26/11 mastermind and Jamat- ud -Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed who is known for his anti-India rhetoric. Last year in December, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat had said that peace talks with Pakistan can take place only when it stops supporting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We also want relations should be better but given what kind of actions there are (from their side) and terrorism is spreading in Jammu and Kashmir, it doesn’t appear that they really want peace,” Rawat said. Both the countries have suffered massive loss of life and property in repeated instances of cross-border firing.
Advocating strong and friendly relations between India and Pakistan, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today appealed the leadership of both the countries to take measures for betterment of mutual relations which would consequentially reduce acrimony, violence and lead to an atmosphere of friendship between the two neighbours.
Addressing a huge gathering of people at the mausoleum of late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on the occasion of his second death anniversary today, the Chief Minister regretted the loss of lives on the borders during shelling, consequent inconvenience to border people and a general insecurity among people of the two countries about each other.
“For how long should humanity be let to bleed. The leadership of both the countries should rise to the occasion and change the hate mongering between the two people into a peace narrative”, she said in her address. Mehbooba Mufti said amicable and friendly relationship between the two countries has a positive bearing on the situation in the State which, she said, has seen enough of bloodshed during the last three decades or so.
She said violence has inflicted only miseries upon the people and the State needed to be got out of this vicious cycle. She said this was main objective to stitch the alliance for government formation in the State and her Government would continue to pursue this goal with all seriousness. Paying rich tributes to late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, the Chief Minister said he was the architect of a vision and mission whose sole objective was to get Jammu & Kashmir out of the miseries of times 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 and response of this doctrine; she said and regretted that things were not taken so seriously after the late leader demitted office in 2005. She said the vision and philosophy of the late leader is becoming more relevant with every passing day as the situation in the sub-continent obtains.
Mehbooba Mufti, on the occasion, also outlined the measures taken by her Government for the welfare of the people. She said she fulfilled the promise of withdrawal of cases against youth and regularisation of 60 thousand casual and daily rated workers.
She said she has secured adequate financial assistance from the centre which would change the developmental scenario in the State and create huge employment opportunities. But, she cautioned, it all requires a peaceful atmosphere. Many works, she added, could not be executed in 2016 due to unrest and unfortunately the funds got lapsed.
Earlier, the Chief Minister visited mausoleum of late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. She led the people of the State in offering fateha and also paid floral tributes. Members of the council of Ministers, MPs, legislators, senior officers and a large number of people had come to Dara Shikoh Park to offer fateha to their beloved leader. According to the data compiled by the Union home ministry, Pakistani forces have violated ceasefire 724 times along the International Border and the Line of Control till October 2017, in comparison to 449 times in 2016. From the other side, there had been similar allegations against Delhi as well.