Welcome but needs to be translated in action: Kashmir Inc on PM’s remark

However, Wani said development aimed for Kashmir in the past has not helped people here, as the basic issue has not been addressed.

SAQIB MALIK
Srinagar, Publish Date: Aug 15 2017 11:12PM | Updated Date: Aug 15 2017 11:12PM
Welcome but needs to be translated in action: Kashmir Inc on PM’s remarkFile Photo

“The problem will be solved neither by abuse or bullets - it will be solved by embracing all Kashmiris” remark made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday was welcomed here by most Kashmir-based trade and business leaders who, however, said it needs to be proved on ground with action.

Speaking from Red Fort in New Delhi on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi said: “The (Kashmir) problem will be solved neither by abuse or bullets - it will be solved by embracing all Kashmiris. Such is the legacy of 125 crore Indians. Hence, neither by abuse nor by bullets, change will come by embracing all. And we are moving forward with this resolve.”

Mushtaq Wani, president, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry while welcoming the PM’s remark said, “Kashmiris have always been in favour of a dialogue process but it is high time that words are translated into action. A dialogue can certainly help Kashmir overcome political and economic problems.” 

However, Wani said development aimed for Kashmir in the past has not helped people here, as the basic issue has not been addressed.

Reacting to the PM’s statement, Kashmir Economic Alliance, chairman, Muhammad Yaseen Khan said the remarks represent "empty symbolism" as happenings of past 70 years make “one doubt”. However Khan said “hopefully good sense has prevailed now”.

“It is a welcome move but this cannot be seen on the ground. On one side they want to do good for Kashmiris but on other hand every sort of effort is being made to erode special status of the state. This is completely double speak,” Khan said. “If PM is sincere in his intentions he must engage the real stakeholders such as resistance leadership in a dialogue process.”

Farhan Kitab, media head of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation also pointed out that various Prime Ministers in the past have announced many financial packages for development of Kashmir which haven’t benefitted Kashmir in the end.

 “It is all symbolism untill proved on the ground. There has been complete mayhem since 2014 floods in terms of business. Economy is down so more than just embracing us through words there is need of a political will and statesmanship from the PM,” Kitab said.

President of Kashmir Economic Forum, Showkat Chowdhary said there is a “major trust deficit” among Kashmiris regarding PM Mod which can be overcome only by action.

“Regarding PM Modi there is lack of faith among Kashmiris but now he is making efforts to bridge the gap. Let there be some action on the ground so that people start believing in his words,” Chowdhary said.  

President, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Bashir Ahmad Rather said Modi in his visit to Kashmir had also earlier made remarks about reaching out to Kashmiris but ‘were not fulfilled’.

“Let us hope there is benefit to common people from these statements,” he said.