Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the trend of more youths joining militancy will achieve nothing except increased footprints of the security forces in the state.
Addressing a convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) here, Mehbooba reacted to reports of more young people joining militant ranks.
“The increase in the number of youths picking up the gun will increase the presence of Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the police.
“More the situation improves, the more we can ask the Army, the CRPF and the police to reduce their footprints (in Kashmir)”, the Chief Minister said.
Condemning the recent grenade attacks by militants in the Valley, she said: “Despite ceasefire, there are grenade attacks. They do not see that civilians are getting killed, they do not see that Army or CRPF jawans have come from far flung areas for their bread and butter. What will this achieve?
“There have been thousands of grenade attacks till now, thousands have picked up guns and become militants, but what has been achieved?” she asked.
She said through peaceful means the People’s Democratic Party had been able to persuade the opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalkote roads.
“If the situation improves, I promise you that we will open more such routes.”
Mehbooba made a fervent appeal to Kashmiri separatists to come forward for talks and save the state from further bloodshed and reminded them that the announcement of ceasefire by the Indian government was a step that cannot be expected always.
She said the problem can only be resolved thorough dialogue.
“This time there is an offer of dialogue from the Centre. I request all stakeholders to come forward to save Kashmir.”
Mehbooba said it was for the separatists to decide whether the youths of Kashmir should come out of the culture of stones and guns.
She also appealed to New Delhi and Islamabad to start the dialogue process in order to improve the situation since Jammu and Kashmir bears the brunt of strained relations between the two countries.