JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said a handful of people opposed to peace were inciting youth to violence in the Kashmir valley.
Speaking at an official function in Bhagwati Nagar area of the city, Mehbooba, who visited Jammu for the first time since violence began in the valley last month, said these people “who do not want peace in Kashmir are inviting youths to violence for their vested interests”.
The Kashmir Valley has been on the boil since the July 8 killing of militant commander Burhan Wani. At least 68 people have been killed and thousands injured in the subsequent unrest in the valley.
Mehbooba said violence was no means to achieve anything. “Guns went into Afghanistan, Syria and Russia. Was anything achieved there by using those guns? Violence brings only destruction and nothing else.”
The Chief Minister thanked the people of Jammu for maintaining peace and harmony at a time the valley was going through difficult times.
“These people started trouble in 2008. They started trouble again in 2010 following a fake encounter in Machil. After I took over, they tried to start trouble on the pretext of Handwara (alleged rape) incident which they failed to do.”
She said these elements also tried to raise the issues of separate colonies for retired soldiers and Kashmiri Pandits but “failed”.
Mehbooba asserted that the predominant majority of Kashmiris were peace loving and want “dignity and development”.
“Certain quarters are not happy with the PDP-BJP coalition in the state and they have been out to unsettle the alliance,” she said.
The Chief Minister said the fact that students from Kashmir studying outside the state did not face any problems because of the unrest proves the fact that people in other parts of the county love Kashmiris.