J&K Is A Better Model For SAARC, Says Mehbooba

KL Report

SRINAGAR

Reiterating her party’s resolve of making J&K an epicenter of South Asian Co-operation, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Ms Mehbooba Mufti Sunday called upon India and Pakistan to end their differences for the lasting peace.

Addressing party’s youth convention in Ganderbal, Ms Mufti said resolution of J&K issue is a must to realize peace and development on the ground and the PDP has a pivotal role to take the state out of the present quagmire. Kashmir has been a challenge for all the prime ministers of India since 1947, and there is need for serious efforts to address the prevailing alienation among the people of Kashmir.

“I hope Prime Minister, Narendra Modi restarts stalled the process of dialogue and reconciliation that was initiated at the level of the then deputy prime minister L K Advani,” she said. She emphasized the need for a sustained dialogue between different shades of public opinion in J&K and New Delhi and between New Delhi and Islamabad for a dignified solution of Kashmir issue.

She said that SAARC cooperation should begin from J&K and the state should become a model of the economic integration among all these neighboring countries. J&K can become a model for a free economic zone wherein all the neighboring countries invest and the state could reap the economic dividends, which would result in creating livelihood on a mass scale.

“There is no better place than Kashmir to start the Handicrafts University proposed by the SAARC countries, which has historically been the hub of handicrafts and traditional arts in the entire world.” M Ms Mufti stressed.

J&K is the gateway to the central Asian countries but unfortunately after the partition Kashmir became hostage to the animosity between India and Pakistan. So while the NDA government has expressed its willingness to engage with all its neighboring countries including China what better way than to restoring the old silk route that connects the whole region.

Though Kashmir issue needs a apolitical solution, she said bad governance, corruption and unemployment has further complicated the issue thus creating enormous instability and insecurity among the people.

Pointing to the central government she said that besides issue of Kashmir, unemployment is the most pressing task before it and it needs to be taken as a national challenge and addressed very seriously.

On poll boycott, Ms Mufti said democracy is a battle of ideas and everyone has a right to propagate their ideology therefore it is the people who have to decide which side they want to be. “People need to support us to establish a new a system of hope in the state so that we could end this growth stagnation, corruption and unemployment among our youth and will create a congenial atmosphere for the resolution of Kashmir issue,” she said. She termed PDP’s agenda as a combination of political process and good governance.

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