Calling for creating a new basis of legitimacy for the peace and resolution process to take shape, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today said the challenge before the leadership of the State and the country is to insulate the process from the setbacks that have derailed it in the past.
“The focus has to be on involving the principal stakeholders – the people of Jammu and Kashmir – in the resolution process to make it sustainable and productive,” the Chief Minister said while addressing a public gathering after inaugurating a new building for the Government Degree College here.
The Chief Minister also laid stress on revival and continuation of peace and confidence building process with Pakistan which had helped transform the situation in the State and along the borders between 2002 and 2005.
“The Government of India must, with fresh resolve, work through reconciliatory political measures and through public participation towards the resolution of the issue,” she said and added that Jammu & Kashmir could become a bridge of peace and a hub of economic activity in the region given its geo-strategic location.
Calling for expanding the ambit and scope of the cross-LoC movement of the people and goods, the Chief Minister said the full potential of the State can be harnessed only through opening it up and empowering all the regions to benefit from the new market economy growing in the region.
“For a lasting solution of the State’s problems, substantial political and economic measures have to be taken that meet the reasonable aspirations of the people in all the regions of the State,” she said.
Mehbooba said even if Pakistan may be, due to own political reasons, presently reluctant to reciprocate the peace overtures from New Delhi, whatever can be done to address the internal dimensions of the Kashmir issue must be done without delay.
“Government of India shall have to take one or more steps than our neighboring country (Pakistan) as Jammu and Kashmir is our state and we have to apply balm on the wounds of the people,” she said and added that we have to have a roadmap of hope for the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are embroiled in a challenging and pernicious situation.
Earlier, she appealed the students to refrain from stone pelting and said if they keep indulging in such activities, the state will have no doctors, engineers and teachers in the future.
“Children have to go to schools, study and come out as doctors, dental surgeons, engineers, teachers,” she said.
“But if they (students) throw stones in protest rallies, we will have no doctors, engineers and teachers in future,” Mehbooba said at an event in Jammu.
“It was Mufti Mohammad Sayeed sahib, who always said that if you want to build a strong community, you will have to nourish it with education and strengthen their power to think.”
“It was my Kashmiri Pandit friends, who used to swear in the name of education (vidhya), instead of family members, Gods and Goddesses. It was this tradition that was prevalent in the Valley of Kashmir,” she said.