People of J&K biggest beneficiaries of Indo-Pak friendship: Mufti

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today welcomed the visit of Union Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, to Pakistan, and said that main beneficiaries of Indo-Pak friendly relations are people of the State. He called upon militants to shun the path of violence and hoped the political uncertainty will end.
While addressing a gathering after laying foundation stone of a bridge over Brungi Nullah, in Anantnag district of South Kashmir today, the Chief Minister took the credit for the recent meeting between Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharief, in Paris, NSA-level talks and now the visit of Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan. “This (Indo-Pak friendship) is the voice of people of Jammu and Kashmir and no power can force them. We have made history. We have created an environment of friendship”, he said.
Mufti said that during Prime Minister’s public rally in Srinagar last month, he favoured Indo-Pak talks and friendly relations between the two neighbours for peace and stability of the sub-continent.  “This (talks) is a victory of the people of J&K, who have always aspired for friendly relations between India and Pakistan. I hope this new phase of reconciliation will bear positive results for all of us,” he said.
Chief Minister asked the youth of Kashmir who have took to militancy to shun the path of violence. He said gun has yielded nothing except maligning the message of peace of Islam. “The recent shooting incident in California, US, in which 14 people were killed, has raised levels of intolerance against Muslims particularly in the United States and some of the other Western countries. Even Imam-e-Kaaba has in unequivocal terms condemned such acts of extremism by certain vested interests, which are out to distort the great religion of Islam,” he added.
Mufti recalled his earlier tenure as Chief Minister of the State in 2002 when the two countries engaged in a constructive dialogue, which he said had a positive impact on the ground situation in the State. “I along with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at that time changed the course of history by fostering a new era of friendly relations between the two neighbouring countries,” he said.
He described the cross-LoC travel and trade as a historic breakthrough between India and Pakistan. He said that there is need to take this peace initiative to the next level by opening more trading and travel points across the State.
Mufti said that India is an emerging world power due to its powerful democratic institutions. He said that on the other hand Pakistan continues to grapple with political uncertainty even after almost 70 years of its existence.
He  said that decision taken by the leadership in Jammu and Kashmir to accede to India was right. “I believe that the decision which our leadership took in 1947 was right decision and we should have moved forward”, he added.
Mufti hailed people who despite threats preferred ballot over bullet and took part in elections in the State during last over two decades. He said people have great expectations and the onus now lies on the Government to provide them the rich dividends of peace in the form of development. “I thank the people for reposing trust and confidence in the Government and I promise to deliver a prompt and just administration, which is responsive to the needs of the people,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that PDP-BJP alliance was not a kneejerk reaction but an outcome of two months of sustained deliberations which was presented before the people in the form of the Agenda of the Alliance. He said he joined hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in whose leadership 1.2 billion people of the country reposed faith in 2014 Parliamentary elections, including the people of Jammu who voted overwhelmingly for BJP in the 2014 Assembly polls. “The present Government promises to deliver good governance and development, besides providing sustained means of livelihood to the educated youth of the State,” he added.
Mufti said filling up of vacancies by PSC, SSB and Police Recruitment Board have been fast-tracked to be completed in a time-bound manner. “To create a level-playing field for our educated youth in top private firms, we have also devised a strategy to link education with jobs by focusing on market-driven courses,” he added.
Chief Minister assured that his Government will provide relief to the flood-affected people, besides taking up restoration and protection works by dredging the riverbeds and strengthening and beautifying the embankments for which allocations have been made in the recently-announced development package for the State.

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