‘Give peace a chance, I will facilitate talks: CM

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister-Mehbooba Mufti today said that peace is imperative for talks and every body has to give peace a chance.
“Give peace a chance and I will again plead with the leadership in New Delhi to talk to all shades of the political opinion in J&K, including the separatists, to end the decades’ old uncertainty in the region which has brought immense miseries to the people of my State,” Mehbooba Mufti said while addressing the Police Commemoration Day function at Armed Police Complex here today.
She added a conducive environment, however, has to be created for the peace and resolution process to take shape, as talks can’t be held at gunpoint.
Mehbooba said Pakistan’s cooperation in maintaining peace in Jammu and Kashmir is also necessary. “Even Pakistan has to help us as we both have to live together. Pakistan must understand we are neighbors and Indians, Pakistanis are the same people,” she said and added that it is heartening to note that despite prevailing charged atmosphere in the region the peace bus on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road and the cross-LoC trade through Salamabad and Wagah continues to flourish.
Highlighting the importance of better relations between India and Pakistan, the Chief Minister said that any strain in their relations directly influences the situation in Jammu & Kashmir.
Earlier, stating that the complex challenges confronting Jammu and Kashmir can be resolved only through dialogue, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today called for creating a congenial atmosphere within the State and the region for the peaceful resolution of the issues.
“Whosoever is ready to reject the violence and help in restoring peace should be engaged in dialogue to end the uncertainties plaguing Jammu and Kashmir for the past six decades,” the Chief Minister said.
While quoting former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee’s statement “friends can be changed but not neighbors”, the Chief Minister said that uncertainty and violence on borders impacts the local population most and derails the government’s efforts for ushering in a new era of development in the state.
Referring to the internal and external peace process initiated by the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Chief Minister said that today again with a robust mandate on his back, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has the opportunity to resolve the Kashmir issue in the interest of the peace and stability of the State and the region. She urged Pakistan to reciprocate with open mind and in good faith the peace initiatives. Reiterating the commitment of her government
for the betterment of the state, the Chief Minister said that the government shall work towards revoking AFSPA in a phase wise manner albeit once peace is fully restored in the state.
Urging the police and the security forces to hand-hold the misadvised youth who have joined militancy or are indulging in violence, with compassion, the Chief Minister said that such youth should be a given a chance to return to their families and live normal lives. “They can be also provided counseling on how to make a new beginning in their lives,” she said and added these are all our children who have been misguided and have fallen prey to the unfortunate circumstances and need more of parenting rather than policing.
Referring to complaints of disproportionate use of force by the police and security forces during the past few months, the Chief Minister that all such incidents of wrong-doing will be inquired and investigated to ascertain the facts following which action as warranted shall be taken. She said there were “instances where we made mistakes and which should not have happened” and cited cases like death of Junaid in Safakadal and a lecturer in Khrew area of Pulwama and an ATM Guard in Chattabal area.
Mehbooba said her government wants to ban the use of pellet guns as a crowd control measure and sought cooperation of police saying they should “tolerate” and refrain from using such weapons as the protests will not continue forever.
“If there is an injury on you, but if we save a youth’s eyes or arms from pellet guns, then I think it will be your biggest sacrifice. Because this (protests) will not continue forever, it is temporary. But I need your cooperation,” she said.
While expressing deep anguish over the loss of civilian lives and injuries during the past three months, the Chief Minister said that the police and the security forces have been also facing challenging situation amid unrest. “The police and the security forces continue to face challenges in J&K and especially the last three months have been extremely challenging for them,” she said.
Maintaining that while every section of the society has suffered immensely because of the situation obtaining in Kashmir since July 8 this year, the Chief Minister said the schooling, transport and businesses have been worst affected by the turmoil and it is time to give people a chance to resume normal life as they are in immense distress and feel suffocated. “The Government would try to provide whatever support is possible to the worst affected sections of the society,” she said.
Paying rich tributes to the martyred police personnel, the Chief Minister said the state will always remember their sacrifices rendered for upholding the law, safety and security of the people.
The DGP also highlighted various welfare schemes run by J&K Police that provide financial assistance to the families of martyred police personnel, in particular towards their rehabilitation and education of children.

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