Mehbooba Mufti wants all stakeholders to join hands

SRINAGAR: On the eighteenth foundation day of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ms Mehbooba Mufti appealed all shades of political opinion to join hands in finding a lasting and amicable solution to the problems and difficulties facing the people of the State.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti addressing during party’s 18th foundation day in Srinagar on Saturday 29 July 2017. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Mehbooba Mufti appealed the leadership of opposition National Conference, Congress, BJP and others to join her in addressing the issues confronting the State and mitigating the pain of its residents.

“I appeal Farooq (Abdullah) sahib, Azad sahib, other leaders, BPJ and other parties, let us join together in finding solution to the problems of the State”, she said in her appeal, adding whosoever gets hit on either side of the fence belongs to the State.

The Chief Minister strongly pitched for expanding the ambit of cross LoC travel and trade. She suggested regular tours across the dividing line by students, professionals and other groups to know each other better. This, she said, would not only promote more people to people contacts but also lower the intensity of acrimony on the two sides of the divide.

A PDP worker join hands with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti during party’s 18th foundation day in Srinagar on Saturday 29 July 2017. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Advocating identifying more areas of common interest on the two sides of LoC in the State, Mehbooba suggested sectors like tourism, disaster management, water resources, energy where joint efforts would yield more tangible results for the two people. She said the State’s Legislative Assembly has some seats reserved for residents of people on the other side of the State which, once filled, would help in minimizing their misperceptions about the State.

Seeking to expand the ambit of trading activity across the LoC in the State, the Chief Minister suggested adoption of an insulating mechanism as is in place at Wagha-Attari trade point to check any trading malpractice. “Let us replicate the safety parameters put in place at Wagah (trade point) at the trading points on the LoC. If any malpractice takes place at Wagah, you don’t stop the trade”, she said, pleading for opening of more historic routes in Jammu & Kashmir along the LoC.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti with senior party leaders during party’s 18th foundation day in Srinagar on Saturday 29 July 2017. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

On Cross LoC Routes

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti appealed Delhi to revive the Lahore Declaration for restoring peace in the Valley. She was speaking to a party gathering to celebrate eighteenth raising day of the party she founded with her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

“I appeal Centre to revive Lahore Declaration so that we can live peacefully in Jammu and Kashmir,” Ms Mufti said. “Trade routes with Pakistan should not be blocked, instead there should be crackdown on drugs and Cannabis which are smuggled from there.”

Ms Mufti insisted that routes (read cross-LoC routes) can’t be block. This will lead to “dangerous situation” in Kashmir.

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