Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and Member Parliament, Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said resolution, reconciliation and development constitute the PDP's core agenda and the party would continue to pursue the same with unflinching consistency to ensure political stability and economic prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir.
"It is with this objective that, despite all odds, PDP entered into an alliance with BJP to revive the process of political reconciliation and economic rejuvenation in Jammu and Kashmir which was initiated by the PDP-led coalition government in 2002," Mehbooba said, addressing a party workers convention here.
She said at the time of partition, the then State's political leadership didn't accept the "two nation theory" and preferred India over Pakistan. "In lieu of this, J&K was granted special status in the Indian Constitution which distinguishes it from the other states of the country in many ways," she said and added that while it has been made clear in the PDP-BJP "Agenda of Alliance" that the State's present position will be maintained on all the constitutional provisions pertaining to J&K including the special status in the Constitution of India, the state government is continuing its efforts to catalyze reconciliation and confidence building process within and across the Line of Control (LoC) to create an enabling environment for sustainable peace, all round economic development and prosperity of J&K.
Mehbooba said in the emerging global scenario where some "dubious fringe elements" are resorting to "atrocious violence in the name of Islam", reconciliation in the sub-continent has become an inevitability to keep such elements away from "destabilizing" the region.
"J&K can become the torch-bearer of such a reconciliatory process in the region as the State and its people have exhibited the mellowness and highest levels of religious tolerance even during the worst times of the sub-continent's history," she said.
Mehbooba said the lessons to be learnt from the death and destruction in Afghanistan and now in the Middle East is that gun is no solution to any problem, whether used by the state or the non-state actors, and only way to ensure stability is through dialogue and reconciliation. "I am sure that India's political leadership will take a cue from the tragic events in the Middle East and work, with fresh resolve, towards fostering a new era of inclusiveness and reconciliation in the country and the region," she said and added that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would be the biggest beneficiaries of such a progressive scenario as they have suffered immensely because of the decades' long political uncertainty plaguing the region.
Mehbooba said the reconciliatory and developmental process "facilitated" by the then PDP-led government between 2002 and 2005 had "sparked political, economic and social activity on a phenomenal scale in Jammu & Kashmir facilitating complete transformation of the ground situation on almost every front in the State and the region."
"We are looking forward and working towards facilitating a similar scenario in the State and the region so that Jammu and Kashmir could become a bridge of friendship between India and Pakistan instead of a bone of contention," she said and added that the process of political and economic transformation in J&K has already been set into motion and the results will be visible on the ground soon with people reaping the benefits of a new era of peace and development.
"People will soon see tangible transformation in every sector as several significant initiatives have been launched by the Government to address the issues of development and governance deficit in the State," she said and added that "unfortunately during the past six years there was a complete governance paralysis in the State resulting in alienation and cynicism."
"We are firm in our resolve to mark a new beginning and with the support of the people end the gloomy scenario of despair, alienation and development deficit, in J&K," Mehbooba said and added that the "most daring challenge for PDP is to be with the people, show solidarity with them and give them the much needed sense of security and relief on development front and the party is committed to its resolve of bringing prosperity to J&K and its people."
Mehbooba said with the announcement of the Rs 80000 crore economic package by the Prime Minister, the State Government is "going to revive the process of rehabilitation, reconstruction and economic rejuvenation on a massive scale. The package would not only ensure fresh relief for the flood-affected people, but also bring a turnaround in key sectors like road communication, health, education, tourism, power, urban development and employment generation with huge resources being made available for new initiatives in these sectors."
She said Srinagar would not only be restored to its historical importance but various initiatives are being taken by the Government to address the developmental concerns of the summer capital which has faced complete neglect during the past six years.
She said unemployment of City's educated youth is one of the major challenges and it is being tackled with all seriousness.