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Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: Jan 13, 2018, 12:09 AM; last updated: Jan 13, 2018, 12:09 AM (IST)

Develop J&K as model for SAARC nations: CM

Dinesh Manhotra

Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 12

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said J&K should be developed as a ‘model state’ for the SAARC countries. She also advocated introducing single currency in all SAARC countries on the lines of the European Union (EU).

Pitching for restarting the “stalled” dialogue process with Pakistan, she said both countries had no option but to normalise relations as peace was imperative for the development of both.

Speaking during the motion of thanks on the Governor’s Address in the Legislative Council on Friday, the CM reiterated her resolve to make J&K a bridge between two countries to restore lasting peace in the region. She recounted how peace initiatives announced, from time to time, had brought much relief to the people living in the border areas besides paving way for pursuing the dialogue process between the two countries.

Maintaining that peace was imperative for development, Mehbooba sought the support of lawmakers to take the reconciliation and peace process to its logical conclusion.

“Neither the government alone nor can an individual solve this vexed problem. We have to work jointly to restore lasting peace in the state”, she said.

She was of the opinion that killing of 200 militants was not going to change the scenario as more militants will cross over to this side as infiltration from across was continuing. “We have killed 200 militants and many local youth have joined the mainstream after an appeal by their parents. But there are reports of many local youths having joined the militant rank and file, which is a very disturbing trend,” she said.

“Unfortunately a fresh cycle of youngsters joining militancy has begun in Kashmir. It’s a total exercise in futility. It will not yield anything positive,” she asserted.

“The number of militants killed is immaterial. The problem will be solved when J&K will become a bridge between India and the rest of Asia, including Pakistan. How long can we kill militants? This has to be stopped,” she added.

Mehbooba, however, reiterated that J&K had already decided its destiny in 1947 and the decision of joining J&K with secular India was ratified by the Constituent Assembly also. “The tallest leader of Kashmir, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, had again endorsed J&K’s accession to India in 1975,” she recalled referring to the Indira-Sheikh accord of 1975.

Pushes for talks with Pak

  • Speaking during the motion of thanks on the Governor’s Address in the Legislative Council on Friday, the CM reiterated her resolve to make J&K a bridge between India and Pakistan to restore lasting peace in the region
  • Pitching for restarting the “stalled” dialogue process with Pakistan, Mehbooba said both countries had no option but to normalise relations as peace was imperative for their development

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