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Economic packages won’t bring peace to Kashmir, reconciliation will: Mehbooba

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Srinagar, Sep 04: Asserting that dialogue and reconciliation between India and Pakistan was inevitable for peace here, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have to behave like Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the resolution of Kashmir issue.

According to a PDP press release, addressing people, party functionaries, workers and activists in Rajouri, the former Chief Minister urged the two countries to rise above the egos and exhibit the political astuteness so that the dream of a peaceful and tranquil Jammu and Kashmir is realised.

She said peace won’t come to the state through the announcement of the economic packages but by consistent and earnest efforts aimed to get the state out of the squalid conditions and taking youth into confidence so as to stop them going adrift.

“Economic packages aren’t going to resolve the issues in any way. Though the roads, bridges and electricity are vital needs of the people but until and unless there is dialogue aimed at the resolution of the conflict, no sigh of relief could be provided to the already perturbed masses,” she said.

According to the party press release, PDP chief remarked that after the 2014 polls threw up fragmented mandate, party founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed decided to stitch the common ground with BJP with the “sole motive to reincarnate the Vajpayee era in the state” and to stop the vicious cycle of unabated killings and violence.

“When I told my father that the decision to join hands with the BJP has more risks than rewards and would decline party’s popularity in the state, he said he was ready to sacrifice everything including his own self if that resolves the decades-old conflict,” Mehbooba claimed, adding that her father was confident that dialogue and reconciliation would be initiated and similar measures as taken during Vajpayee’s time shall be witnessed once again.

“However, when on November 07, 2015 Prime Minister Modi addressed a rally in Srinagar, he announced 80 thousand crore package but exhibited reluctance in pitching for a thaw between India and Pakistan for peace in the state. This disheartened everyone including the people who had come from far-flung areas to listen to the Prime Minister,” Mehbooba said.

The PDP chief also said that even after witnessing hurdles in his way, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed remained adamant to get the two countries closer and always pitched for dialogue and measures desperately needed for peace in the state.

“When I took over as the Chief Minister and headed the state for two years and two months, it is a fact known to all that I didn’t compromise on my stand and stood like a rock before the central government for protection of state’s special interests. If I would have shown mere laxity in my approach, BJP wouldn’t have been compelled to topple the government. They didn’t succeed in any way to make me barter the interests of the state for petty power and I can tell you with all certainty that I kept the honour and dignity of my people intact and alive,” Mehbooba claimed.

Appealing the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend hand of friendship to Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan, Mehbooba said that peace in south Asia will only be possible if peace is established in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Opening of the new roads between the divided parts of the state and strengthening of people to people contact will lead to success. Prime Minister Modi has to pick up wherefrom late Vajpayee has left the peace process and doing so will usher a new era of development and tranquility in the two countries and people living amid constant fear can heave a sigh of relief from constant confrontations and animosities,” said the PDP chief.

Referring to the Rasana rape-and-murder case, Mehbooba said that she went to New Delhi and made it clear before the helmsmen that the PDP cannot remain the part of government until the two ministers who have openly supported the rapists aren’t sacked and until the investigation isn’t allowed to take place in a transparent manner.

“I remained in the forefront as the Chief Minister to thwart any attempts aimed at the intimidation of Gujjars and Bakerwals in the state and took every measure to ensure these communities that no one is going to do any harm to them,” she said, adding that securing the secular character of the state has been the top-most priority of the PDP since inception and that the party had foiled attempts of the fringe groups to create any communal wedge between the different religious communities in the state.

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