CM favours Indo-Pak dialogue on Kashmir

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday emphasized on the need for a meaningful dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve Kashmir.
CM favours Indo-Pak dialogue on Kashmir
File Photo

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday emphasized on the need for a meaningful dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve Kashmir.

"If Jammu and Kashmir has to move forward, there have to be initiatives like the ones that Mufti Sahab (Mufti Muhammad Sayeed) took along with the Centre from 2003 to 2005," said Mehbooba, while speaking on the concluding day of the Budget Session here.

The Chief Minister said India and Pakistan need to talk for peace and development in both countries and for lasting solution to Kashmir.

"This is our agenda also to ensure a meaningful dialogue between the two countries so that the region enters into a new era of peace and prosperity," said Mehbooba, days after BJP leaders called for "bombing Pakistan" in the wake of a deadly militant attack in Pampore that left eight CRPF personnel dead and 21 others injured.

"But the bullets won't help neither will the proxy war, she said.

Recalling her late father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed's first tenure as Chief Minister, Mehbooba said the Central Government had made progress on the talks, on both internal and external fronts. 

"Hurriyat was asked to prepare a roadmap for Kashmir…but nothing happened from 2006 to 2014," said Mehbooba.

She said a meaningful dialogue between India and Pakistan was part of 'Agenda of the Alliance' of the coalition Government.

"If we want peace and prosperity in J&K and if India and Pakistan want to prosper, it will not happen by waging proxy wars or direct wars, or allegations and counter allegations, it will happen if the two countries sit around a table and resolve their differences," said Mehbooba.

Crediting India for its "democratic system", Mehbooba said the neighboring country (Pakistan) and the Muslim world was unstable and caught in strife. Lauding the "parliamentary system of democracy" in India, Mehbooba recalled the words of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfkar Ali Bhutto, that if India was thriving, despite her inherent contradictions and challenges, it was because of her democratic traditions. 

"Now see what is happening in countries where democracy has ceased to exist. Full-blown wars are going on in Syria and Libya. The blood of innocents is being spilled. The people in these countries have waged war against their own government as they are striving for the democratic system wherein they have a say to choose their destiny," Mehbooba said.

Condemning the killing of eight CRPF men in attack by militants in Pampore last week, Mehbooba said she didn't subscribe to the idea of those who "resort to violence in the name of religion".

"I'm a Muslim; I love Islam, the real Islam but not the Islam that is being propagated these days. There are people who are beheading others while shouting Allah-o-Akbar (Allah is great). Is that Islam? This is not Islam," Mehbooba said.

The Chief Minister said she was disheartened to see eight coffins of CRPF men killed in Pampore. "Eight families got devastated; eight families lost their family members. I would also visit the families of the militants killed in gunfights and would be saddened seeing their parents," said Mehbooba.

"In Ramadan you (militants) fire bullets. This is wrong. Had they (CRPF) retaliated then there would have been civilian killings. At least in J&K, Islam shouldn't be defamed this way," Mehbooba said.

Referring to the statement of former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that her Government was inexperienced, Mehbooba said Omar's remarks were correct.

"Yes, we are not experienced and at least I'm least experienced," she said.

However, Mehbooba said she would not allow this inexperience come in way of her governance.

"We will take time but we assure you that we will deliver better," she said.

Terming the decision of the PDP's alliance with BJP a "right one", Mehbooba said: "It is the correct path."

The Chief Minister said culturally distinct regions of the State were coming closer to each other since the Coalition Government assumed office. 

"When the issue of SRO 105 surfaced, the BJP leaders were the first to raise their voice because they are concerned for the welfare of Jammu and Kashmir. We have learnt to accommodate each other and we will learn from each other by committing mistakes," she said.

Mehbooba said the PDP-BJP alliance was formed keeping in view the larger welfare of Jammu and Kashmir.

"We didn't consider the aspirations of Kashmir only but Jammu region as well. It is the result of his (Mufti Sayeed's) vision that today the BJP members are more worried about communal tension in the State and it is their responsibility to keep the communal harmony intact," she said.

Clarifying about her remarks on the clergy, the Chief Minister said it was the social and moral obligation of religious scholars who issue sermons in mosques to inform and educate people about social evils prevailing in the society.

"My remarks on clergy were distorted to suit a particular narrative. My only regret is that in our society which has been gravely affected by social evils like drug addiction, corruption and environmental degradation, our clergy shy away from talking about such issues in their sermons. What stops them from issuing sermons on our dying water bodies, the menace of dowry and unabated use of polythene? Clergy commands respect in the society and they should discuss social evils in their sermons to motivate the people to wage 'Jihad' against such social evils," she said.

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