Panaji: Advocating opening of historic routes in Jammu and Kashmir, state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday called for taking advantage of the valley’s geographical position.
“The geographical positioning of the state makes it gateway to Central Asia and that position ought to be used for opening up its people to the outside world,” the chief minister said while addressing the India Ideas Conclave-2017 here.
“By re-opening the traditional and historic routes in the valley, we shall be writing a new history,” she added.
Mehbooba further suggested making Jammu and Kashmir a model state with connectivity all across so that it becomes a model for SAARC cooperation in the region.
“Let’s make it a model for cooperation at bigger scale in the region”, she said.
On the problems being faced by the people of the state, the chief minister said, “It is the duty of every citizen of the country to come forward and help Jammu and Kashmir in coming out of these uncertainties”.
“People of the Valley ought to be given a sense of belonging because the idea of India is incomplete without idea of Jammu and Kashmir. Also, reconciliation is the way ahead”, she added.
The Chief Minister exuded confidence in the deep roots of values and ethos which the people of the state have displayed at critical times.
“See how many young boys rushed to donate blood when Amarnath yatris were attacked or who can forget that boatman who drowned himself to save a tourist. Kashmiriyat is deep rooted to be affected by any outside influence”, she added.
On the measures taken by her government, the chief minister said the amnesty for youth recently announced by her was aimed at giving them a chance to a peaceful life hereafter. She hoped with the appointment of an interlocutor the way forward for reconciliation has been laid out.
On forming government in the state, Mehbooba also stated that though both Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have ideological differences on many issues, the idea of alliance was aimed to get Jammu and Kashmir out of the present situation of uncertainty, end the inter regional discord in the state and, above all, connect the people of the state with their counterparts in rest of the country.
“The idea to go with BJP was to get Jammu & Kashmir out of this siege”, she said.
There is a need, the Chief Minister asserted, to go back to the era of Atal Behari Vajpayee through whose initiatives cross Line of Control (LoC) routes were opened, ceasefire on LoC was ensure for a decade or so and peace prevailed as a consequence in the state and between the two countries.
On the return of migrant Pandit families, the Chief Minister said not only the government but the entire society in Kashmir wants them back, honourably.
She said in this regard government has been taking many steps for their return back home. “We are also trying to rehabilitate those Pandit families, in terms of employment and other incentives, who stayed back home and did not migrate,” she said.
The conclave was attended by Vice President M. Venkiah Naidu, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, several union ministers, former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Chandrika Kumaratunga, UAE minister Zaki Anwar Misbah, besides a galaxy of politicians, industrialists, mediapersons and social activists from all across the globe.
Meanwhile, state Finance Minister Dr. Haseeb Drabu was also present on the occasion. (ANI)