Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is right in seeking an end to hostilities between India and Pakistan on borders and saying that it is people of Jammu and Kashmir who bear brunt of skirmishes. Mehbooba said this while addressing a public meeting at Tangdar sector near the Line of Control (LoC) in Karnah area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. She appealed leadership of two countries, India and Pakistan to work for maintaining peace on the borders.
She is also right when she says that the people of the state have been the worst victims of this hostility which has led to their killing, dislocations and damages to the property on both sides. She elaborated that peace in the state and between the two South Asian countries holds key to the progress and development of the region. Mehbooba lamented that when people should have been demanding facilities of schools, hospitals, playfields and hospitals, they are seeking construction of bunkers to save them from firepower.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s dream of permanent peace on the Indo-Pak border is not her dream only but that of every single person living in Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan for the swearing-in ceremony despite drawing criticism from opposition as well as media. On day 1, he conveyed his intentions to Pakistan and told the then Prime Minister that the two countries should fight poverty and backwardness. He went a step ahead and attended the marriage ceremony of the son of ex-PM Nawaz Sharif.
He did not care for what the media was saying or how his ideological mentors would look at this development but went ahead and tried to embrace Pakistan. His intentions were clear. He wanted permanent peace on borders but not at the cost of the dignity and honour of Indian state. Prime Minister repeatedly reminded Pakistan about the importance of having permanent peace on the borders. He has been clear about his approach vis-à-vis Pakistan. But Mehbooba Mufti needs to be reminded that Pakistan has betrayed trust time and again.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was first betrayed in Pathankote, then in Uri and finally, in Nagrota by the Pakistani establishment. It makes no difference who controls what in Pakistan but what matters is lives are being lost on this side of Line of Control (LOC). Mehbooba Mufti needs not to be reminded how ISI and Pakistani Army are working together to spread anarchy in Kashmir valley. She has already seen how difficult it had become for her to run the government, purely because of Pakistan sponsored terrorism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood by her.
In testing times, Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured Mehbooba Mufti that New Delhi trusts her ability to govern the state. He recently promised to come to Jammu and Kashmir 50 times if his visit would lead to permanent peace returning to the state. While New Delhi wants peace in J&K as well as in Pakistan, the Pak Army and ISI are out to vitiate the atmosphere. Indian state is not pushing terrorists inside Pakistan but the Pakistani deep state is ready with terrorists on launching pads.
Ceasefire violations have become routine. Ask Pakistani establishment if it is serious about building peace on the borders, why is it not taking required steps to destroy the terror bases inside Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti should focus on giving statements aimed at telling Pakistan to either mend ways or India knows well how to tame rough nations. China has been taught a lesson and now, it is Pakistan which needs a lesson or two on how to prefer peace over violence, death and destruction.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti should not follow National Conference (NC). She should show courage and tell Kashmiri people the truth. Her focus should be governance and rebuilding Jammu and Kashmir. India has strong relationships with Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Bhutan and other countries but not with Pakistan. The country should ponder why India is not in a mood in engaging with it. The message is clear. Pakistan should stop supporting terror, accept the ground reality vis-à-vis Kashmir and stop meddling in the affairs of Indian state.
Once Pakistan takes this path, India would go ten steps ahead to ensure the nation develops alongwith us and its reliance on the American Dollars decreases. Beggar has no option but to accept whatever is given to him by those passing-by. The Indian leadership has always believed that little engagement with Pakistan was better than no engagement. So, Chief Minister should focus on addressing the internal dimensions of the Kashmir issue while allowing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team to address the external dimension.