CM urges separatists to seize ‘golden opportunity’ of dialogue offer
Says it hints at initiation of political process
Srinagar, Jun 11: Urging the separatists to seize the “golden opportunity” by accepting the Centre’s offer of dialogue, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said everyone believes the situation in the state is a political issue that cannot be resolved militarily.
She said the dialogue offer made by the Centre after initiating the Ramazan ceasefire hinted at initiation of a political process.
“I feel that somewhere efforts are being made to carry forward the political process. How far can the political process be taken, that will depend on how good the situation remains on the ground here,” she said.
Speaking to reporters after inaugurating a bridge here, the Chief Minister said, “For ending the uncertainty and providing lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir, everyone including the separatists should come forward and respond to the Home Minister’s offer of dialogue to resolve Jammu and Kashmir issue and other problems of the state.”
During a two-day visit to the state last week to review the security situation and the ongoing suspension of security-related operations during Ramazan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said here that the Centre is ready to hold talks with all “right-minded” people in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan, but the neighbouring country should stop “terror activities emanating from its soil”.
The Chief Minister said everyone believed that Jammu and Kashmir is a political issue which cannot be resolved militarily.
“This is a golden opportunity … it does not happen very often that (such an offer comes from) a very powerful Prime Minister. It was 18 years ago that cessation of operations happened during the time of (the then Prime Minister) A B Vajpayee. At that time, talks were held at the level of Deputy PM (L K Advani) and the process seems to have been repeated again,” she said.
Mufti said it was duty of all groups in the state to think about how to bring about peace and end the bloodshed.
“It becomes a duty of all groups including separatists to think about how to end the bloodshed in J-K which has undergone destruction in every sector for the last 30 years. Our education system has suffered, our development has suffered.”
The Chief Minister said, “We cannot force anyone but we definitely hope that they (separatists) will take advantage of this offer.”
Asked about the possibility of the Centre extending the unilateral suspension of operations beyond the fasting month of Ramazan, she evaded a direct reply saying the Prime Minister and the Home Minister will review the situation and take a decision on it.
“I am fully hopeful that the Prime Minister and the Home Minister after reviewing the situation will take an appropriate decision on it,” she said.
The PDP leader, who heads a state government in alliance with the BJP, said the common people have heaved a sigh of relief due to the suspension of operations during Ramazan. “The daily blood shedding has stopped and it has had a positive effect..
She, however, lamented that continued violence by militants during the Ramazan month was not helping the situation in the state.
“As you see grenade attacks are taking place, weapon snatching bids are happening and security forces and police personnel are being attacked. These kind of acts deteriorate the atmosphere,” she said.
CM orders release of Rs 143 Cr for salaries of SSA teachers
Srinagar, June 11: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today ordered immediate release of Rs 143 crores for paying the pending salaries of teachers working under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) scheme in the state.
Mehbooba issued the direction at a meeting here which was attended by Minister for School Education Choudhary Zulfkar and Minister for Finance Syed Altaf Bukhari among others, an official spokesman said.
The SSA teachers have held several protests over the past couple of months demanding release of salaries which has not been paid for several months now.
The Chief Minister also directed constitution of a high level committee headed by Chief Secretary B B Vyas to look into other issues of the SSA teachers and suggest remedial measures to address all concerns in a time bound and comprehensive manner.
The members of the committee include Administrative Secretaries of Finance, Planning and Education departments while as Director SSA would be the member secretary of the committee.
Mehbooba also asked the Finance department to explore further resources to ensure that maximum relief is extended to the SSA teachers’ fraternity, the spokesman said.