Our priority is JK's development, peace: BJP

Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said the party’s core agenda was peace and development for J&K. The party said it will take up issue of return of Kashmiri Pandits with the government and other stakeholders after peace becomes a permanent feature in the state.

Addressing a press conference here, the party’s state spokesman for Kashmir affairs, Ashwini Kumar Chrungoo said return of Kashmiri Pandits to their home state wasn’t possible until peace prevails in the State.

“The group of KPs that met Hurriyat recently isn’t the real representatives of Pandits. Our agenda is clear – peace and development first and then other things will follow,” said Chrungoo, in response to a question about whether BJP was opposing Hurriyat Conference (M) move to explore ways to facilitate return of KPs to Kashmir.

Recently a group of migrant KPs, met Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at amalgam’s Rajbagh headquarters to discuss possible ways for return of KPs to Valley.

Mirwaiz had later announced formation of a committee that would stay in touch with migrant KPs and find ways and means to facilitate their return.

“Our agenda is clear – let peace prevail first and then only development can take place. The BJP will then take up the matter of return of KPs with the government and other stakeholders. Our core agenda is peace, rest of things can wait,” Chrungoo said.

He said if Hurriyat was serious about contributing towards Kashmir, it should work towards ending “fraud and deceit inflicted’ on people by mainstream parties since past 70 years.

The BJP state spokesman said for the permanent peace in the region, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah has recently announced zero tolerance towards militancy.

“For peace to become a permanent feature militancy has to be wiped-out from the State,” said Chrungoo.  He said for establishing peace in Kashmir, Hurriyat must also persuade local militants to return and follow law of the land.

The BJP leader said party has taken up the issue of inter-district road connectivity with administration so that tourism flourishes in the State.

He said BJP was also for eradicating drug abuse from Kashmir which is fast eating younger generation. “We want that death and destruction should end,” Chrungoo said.

He expressed gratitude about women enjoying liberty in Srinagar. “This is a good sign for future,” he said.