Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti met the Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, here this afternoon.
The Chief Minister discussed with Swaraj the measures required for broadening the scope of cross-LoC trade and travel in J&K so as to make it more vibrant. Cross-LoC trade & travel, she said was close to the heart of her late father and former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who often described it as the biggest CBM between India and Pakistan.
The Chief Minister proposed opening of new routes across the LoC for better connectivity, which she said will take people-to-people contact beyond the ritual of meetings between divided families. The increase in Hajj quota in respect of J&K state, keeping in view the large number of applications received for annual pilgrimage this year, was also discussed in the meeting between the two leaders.
Mehbooba Mufti also took up the issue of lowering the tariff on Srinagar Embarkation Point for Hajj flights, which is higher in comparison to other embarkation points in the country. J&K this year has been allotted total Hajj quota of 6,395 including special additional quota of 1,500. The State Hajj Committee has received a whopping 32,298 applications this year, including 6,914 under the Reserved Category, in which those who are over 70 years of age and fourth-time applicants are given first preference. External Affairs Minister assured early positive action on the issues raised by the Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, called on the President, Pranab Mukherjee, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, here this evening. During the meeting, the Chief Minister apprised the President about various matters related to development in the state.