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Mehbooba urges India to show ‘soft face’ in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Nov 20: Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said that solider and gun shouldn’t be the only symbol of India in Jammu and Kashmir and the country  has to show its “tolerant and liberal face” to the people of the state.

According to a PDP press release, addressing party functionaries from Pattan, Shopian and Kulgam, Mehbooba reiterated that the muscular policy and the political patchwork will not bring peace in the restive state and that such approaches have miserably failed to yield positive results in the past.

“This muscular approach will not take us anywhere as this has been tried for many decades and hasn’t yielded any positive outcome. It is unfortunate that some people still believe in the efficacy of these methods and are trying to repeat the old mistakes which will be meaningless and will prove counter-productive,” Mehbooba said.

The former chief minister said the leadership in the country and the opinion-makers will have to rise above partisan considerations and ideological differences to address the atmosphere of hate and intolerance and rediscover the “inclusive India which made Jammu and Kashmir to throw its lot with the Union”.

“The country has to annihilate the demon of communalism once and for all and this will have a salutary effect on Kashmir where people, especially the youth, are feeling increasingly alienated. We still hope that the country can become a land whose sweetness would scatter all around the world and whose moral courage would mark a new chapter in the history of human civilisation,” Mehbooba said.

She added that India has to show its “soft face” to the people of Kashmir and solider and gun shouldn’t be the only symbol of the country in Jammu and Kashmir.

“It has to be its democratic values, tolerance and religious harmony which could provide a bulwark against the swirling tides of intolerance and sectarianism,” said the PDP president.

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