Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir): Asserting that China is setting up an economic corridor in that will connect the Central Asia with China for trade and commerce, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said Jammu and Kashmir is also centrally-located, and thus, the country can make it an economic corridor to the Central Asia.
She said Kashmir was the gateway to the Central Asia in the past which is now closed.
Speaking after distributing cheques to a group of refugees, who have migrated to India from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Mehbooba said
“We hear it every day that China is constructing an economic corridor in Pakistan that will connect the Central Asia with China for trade and commerce. Our Jammu and Kashmir is also centrally-located and thus our country should make it an economic corridor to the Central Asia. All routes should be opened. In the past, Jammu and Kashmir was the gateway to the Central Asia, which we have closed.”
Stating that Jammu and Kashmir is ‘taaj’ (the crown) of India and it will remain so, and won’t go anywhere, the Chief Minister said, “The relations between the two countries (India and Pakistan) should improve so that there is maximum trade.” She sought the help of all stakeholders in accomplishing this, saying it is her earnest desire to see the breeze of harmony, friendship and peace sweep the entire region so that South Asia gets rid of poverty, illiteracy, disease and destruction.
Saying that Jammu and Kashmir has been the biggest victim of the subcontinent’s partition of 1947, Mufti asked people of every region, ideology and religion to jointly fight for resolving issues confronting the State.
Addressing a gathering of displaced persons on the occasion of launch of Package of Financial Assistance for Displaced Persons from PoK, the Chief Minister said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been suffering since partition of 1947 unlike any other State. She asked people of the State to join hands and lead in unbundling the knots, which have tied them in a quagmire of uncertainty and hopelessness.
Noting that wars all around have left behind a trail of death, destruction and displacement only, she said, “The people of the State hold an important responsibility of ensuring and leading to friendly relations between India and Pakistan. We have to go back to the era of Mr. Vajpayee when hostilities between the two neighbouring countries were minimal and despite provocations like Kargil and Parliament attack, option of war was not even considered. Rather it led to opening of hearts and minds between the two sides which ultimately resulted into opening of borders, resumption of trade and more people to people contact.”
On the occasion, the Chief Minister handed over cheques of financial package among the heads of some displaced families.
Earlier, in his address, Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Nirmal Singh thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mufti for ensuring that the displaced persons get their due.
He said the Government has been sensitive to the problems and difficulties of DPs and is working for the mitigation of the same.
In his address, Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Syed Basharat Bukhari said the Government has been working for making this compensation more and more easy for the displaced persons. He said his department would make all efforts in minimising the difficulties of displaced persons.
Chairman, Legislative Council, Haji Anayat Ali, several ministers, MPs, legislators, Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma, Financial Commissioner, Relief & Rehabilitation, B. B. Vyas, senior officers of various Departments and a large number of displaced persons were present on the occasion.(ANI)