Amid the ongoing unrest in Kashmir, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday underscored the need for working under a democratic system to achieve "our status" and asserted that the agenda of alliance between the ruling coalition – Peoples Democratic Party and BJP – was a formula to fulfill both economical and political aspirations of J&K.
"We live in a democratic country and we have to strive for achieving our status under a democratic system. And we are committed to achieve that through our agenda of alliance," said Mehbooba, addressing a gathering at SKICC here at the launching ceremony of the 250 million US dollars World Bank funded Jhelum-Tawi flood recovery project.
Referring to the ongoing unrest, Mehbooba said the guns and stones wouldn't give the state anything. "We offer prayers five times a day…but what do we do after coming out of mosques and what do those people standing outside the mosques, waiting for prayers to end, do. We seek peace in every prayer but what do we do then."
"The stones and guns won't take us anywhere. If we want state to progress then we will have to come together. I am not asking you (people) to help me but help yourself and this state," she said.
Mehbooba asserted that the agenda of alliance has made "progress" and assured that the promises made by the PDP would be delivered in coming times. "But the Government needs to be given an ambience of peace," she said.
Referring to civilian killing during the ongoing unrest Mehbooba, according to an official statement said, she was "deeply hurt" with the killing of young boys, injuries to people and also due to loss of precious academic time.
She said the youth of J&K have shown their talent time and again but the only thing was of opportunity and exposure. "Be it the youngest woman pilot from Baramulla, topper of BSF officers' exam from Udhampur or many of the young boys and girls who cracked the prestigious all India civil services examinations, they all have made us proud," she said.
Earlier while launching the project, Mehbooba said alongside the political agenda, development of J&K as a model state was the cornerstone of her Government. She said former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had a political and developmental vision for J&K to make it a model state. She said the vision of late Mufti would be fulfilled by the State Government with all seriousness.
She said her government was eager to reach out to different countries like Japan, Austrilia, Saudi Arabia, having expertise in different fields to help in skill development in J&K and roping them for investment in different sectors like health and education.
"But that is possible only when situation here remains peaceful, when we will not allow locals to move out how we can think of foreign investments," said Mehbooba.
The Chief Minister complimented minister for finance and relief & rehabilitation and officers for working together to clinch the deal with World Bank over the flood recovery project which would strengthen the capacity of the State government to respond to and manage effectively natural disasters in future.
The Jhelum-Tawi Flood Recovery Project is likely to strengthen the capacity of the State government to respond to and better manage natural disasters in the future. A key component would be to strengthen and reinforce existing weak and vulnerable flood control infrastructure. Besides constructions, the project would also focus on disaster risk mitigation.
Mehbooba also took a dig out at some television news channels for "bringing a bad name to Kashmir in their race for TRP ratings." "The role of these news channels has not been positive at all during the present unrest. They get some guests from Pakistan and also some from our country, including Kashmir, on their TV shows and exhibit anger."
Nobody, she said, talks about how a shikarawallah gave his life while saving tourists or saving army men from a truck that met an accident.
"Nobody talks about this real face of the Kashmir. We will have to take this picture to people outside," she said.