Mehbooba advocates opening of historic routes, making JK a model in SAARC cooperation

Strongly advocating opening of historic routes in Jammu & Kashmir, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has pleaded for opening up the State to the outside world and its opportunities.

Addressing the India Ideas Conclave-2017 in New Delhi last night, the Chief Minister said the geographical positioning of the State makes it gateway to the Central Asia and that position ought to be used for opening up its people to the outside world.

“By re opening the traditional and historic routes in the State, we shall be writing a new history”, she added.

Minister for Finance, Haseeb Drabu was also present on the occasion.

Mehbooba Mufti suggested making Jammu & Kashmir a model State with connectivity all across so that it becomes a model for SAARC cooperation in the region. “Let’s make it a model for cooperation at bigger scale in the region”, she said, according to an official handout.

On the problems being faced by the people of the State, the Chief Minister said it is the duty of every citizen of the country to come forward and help Jammu & Kashmir in coming out of these uncertainties.

“People of the State ought to be given a sense of belonging because the idea of India is incomplete without idea of Jammu & Kashmir. Reconciliation is the way ahead”, she added.

The Chief Minister exuded confidence in the deep roots of values and ethos which the people of the State have displayed at critical times. “See how many young boys rushed to donate blood when Amarnath yatries were attacked or who can forget that boatman who drowned himself to save a tourist. Kashmiriyat is deep rooted to be affected by any outside influence”, she added.

On the measures taken by her Government, the Chief Minister said the amnesty for youth recently announced by her is aimed at giving them a chance to a peaceful life hereafter. She hoped with the appointment of an Interlocutor the way forward for reconciliation has been laid out.

On forming Government in the State, Mehbooba Mufti said though both PDP and BJP have ideological differences on many issues, the idea of alliance was aimed to get Jammu & Kashmir out of the present situation of uncertainty, end the inter regional discord in the State and, above all, connect the people of the State with their counterparts in rest of the country.

“The idea to go with BJP was to get Jammu & Kashmir out of this siege”, she added.

There is a need, the Chief Minister asserted, to go back to the era of Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee through whose initiatives cross LoC routes were opened, ceasefire on LoC was ensure for a decade or so and peace prevailed as a consequence in the State and between the two countries.

On the return of migrant Pandit families, the Chief Minister said not only the Government but the entire society in Kashmir wants them back, honourably. She said in this regard Government has been taking many steps for their return back home. “We are also trying to rehabilitate those Pandit families, in terms of employment and other incentives, who stayed back home and did not migrate”, she said.

Mehbooba Mufti appealed media to play its crucial role in bringing people and communities closer to each other. She regretted the conduct of some media houses which by their irresponsible coverage of incidents end up creating more discord and acrimony among people and communities.

The conclave was attended by Vice President, M. Venkiah Naidu; several Union Ministers; former Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Chandrika Kumaratunga; Minister from UAE, Zaki Anwar Misbah; Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar besides a galaxy of politicians, industrialists, media persons and social activists from all across the globe.

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