Expressing deep anguish and grave concern over the loss of innocent human lives and destruction of properties in unabated border shelling in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today made a fervent appeal for peace and political dialogue between India and Pakistan to de-escalate the perilously hostile situation prevailing in the region.
"I am deeply pained over the fresh spate of civilian killings, including children and women, in border shelling and urge the political leadership in New Delhi and Islamabad to take effective and urgent measures to de-escalate the situation and bring an end to the miseries of the hapless people of Jammu and Kashmir who are caught in the deadly crossfire," the Chief Minister said.
She, according to an official statement, said the unabated border shelling has seen a tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, where innocent civilians and their properties are being targeted.
"We in J&K yearn for peace as we have been suffering immensely because of the hostility and violence in the region and know very well its dangers and perilous consequences," she said and added that India and Pakistan must open the channels of communication, at the earliest, realizing the dangerous consequences of any escalation of ongoing confrontation along the borders.
Maintaining that the necessity and urgency of dialogue has assumed more significance in the prevailing disturbing situation, Mehbooba said the escalation of violence along the borders and LoC should keep reminding both India and Pakistan of the inevitability of sitting across the table to find a peaceful, just and pragmatic solution of all the contentious issues.
"We see world over how wars have resulted in complete destruction of once most prosperous countries and annihilation of cultures," she said, and added that it is the responsibility of the Indo-Pak political leadership to save the region from such a devastating scenario.
"Whatever be the reasons for hardening of stances and attempts by the vested interests to subvert the peace process, there is, however, no substitute to the reconciliatory policy which was started in 2003 and had worked so well," she said and called for serious efforts at the political and civil society levels to revive the peace and reconciliation process for the larger good of the people sandwiched in a gory scenario of death and destruction.
She said the senseless violence is the common enemy of the people in both India and Pakistan as the scourge of bloodshed has devoured their lives over the years.
The Chief Minister asked the Divisional administration in Jammu and the concerned District Administrations to reach out to the people affected by the border shelling with all possible support.