Stop bleeding J&K, respect people’s yearning for peace: Mufti to Pak
29 October 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today asked Pakistan to stop bleeding Jammu and Kashmir and respond positively to India’s comprehensive peace initiative to give peace a chance in the state. Addressing a series of largely attended public meetings at Tangdar, Machil and Gurez during his day long whirlwind tour of border areas of Kupwara and Baramulla districts, Mufti Sayeed said that thousands of children have been orphaned in violence that is taking place in the valley for 13 years. The people on the border are being made target of cross border shelling almost every day. Pakistan continues to give gun in the hands of our children and put them on the path of destruction. ‘For God sake, stop blood shed in Jammu and Kashmir,’ he added. Mufti Sayeed asked Pakistan leadership not to ignore the yearning of people of Jammu and Kashmir for peace. He said not only the people of Kashmir, even the people of Pakistan are keen to have lasting peace in the region by improving ties with India.. ‘Why then blood is being shed in Jammu and Kashmir every day and for whom’, he asked. Asserting that he visualises a bright tomorrow for people of Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister said that Prime Minister’s peace initiatives are bound to bring peace in the region because it is in deference to the pronounced aspirations of people of both side of the borders. He said gun has never solved problem anywhere in the world. Its futility in solving problems needs to be realised and accepted by every one, and instead work for dialogue. ' Let us accept that dialogue and peace are inter connected and both the nations have to work for it’ He, however, cautioned against high expectation of instant solution and said that there might be ups and downs in the peace process and it would not come in one go. After all, solution has to be found to a vexed problem that has been pending for last over 5 decades. He, however, said that there is no reason for any one to run away for dialogue process. The immediate need, he said, is to build mutual trust and over come the occasional hiccups in the road to peace. Expressing satisfaction over Prime Minister’s proposal to open Srinagar - Uri Muzaffarabad road, for which he has been insisting for long, Mufti Sayeed got instant approval from the people at the public meeting when they enthusiastically raised their hands in support of the move and said that this is the biggest confidence building measure that has potential to demolish the walls of hatred between the people on both sides of the border. The Chief Minister said his Government has succeeded in pushing two major issues that are important for restoration of peace in the state. One is the initiation of dialogue, both to address internal and external dimension of the problem and second is to convincing the Union Government to open Muzaffarabad Road to enable the divided families to visit each other. Referring to the demands of the area, Chief Minister said that he would approach Prime Minister to explore possibilities of granting ST status to Paharis on the basis of geographical conditions. He said Karnah and Machil are better claim to ST status in view of their area being land locked and continues sufferers of Pak shelling. He said Helicopter service would be made operational for Tangdar, Gurez during winter. He said he asked the authorities to approach BRO to improve Tangdar road and request them to improve it within stipulated time and if it does not do it, R and B should take up the work. He said 1500 household bunkers have been sanctioned each for Tangdar and Gurrez besides 100 community bunkers. He said he would examine possibility of taking up power project at Gurez on which previous Government had spent Rs. 4 crore and abandoned it. Similar Power Project at Machil would also be examined besides investigating past decision to abandon it after spending huge money. Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister, Muzaffar Hussain Baigh said that militancy has affected every one but it the Paharis who are the major sufferers he said in the same way they would be the major beneficiaries if peace is dawned in the state. He complimented Mufti Sayeed for his vision and persistent efforts, which led initiation of dialogue and other measures and said that he is championing the cause of peace. Speaking in chaste Pahari, Mr. Baig asked people to pray that the coalition Government remains stead fast on the path of honesty and fair deal and warned the administration against indulging in malpractice and corruption. He said they are there to serve the people and not to exploit their miseries and innocence. He said Government will not tolerate such acts. Mr. Baig sported demand of Paharis ST status to people of Karnah and said that Chief Minister will take up the matter with the Prime Minister. The Rural Development Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed today announced additional grant of Rs. 3 lakh to each of 2700 panchayats in the state for executing minor rural works. This is in addition to 1.50 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh already placed at their disposal . This is the first time that the panchayats have been entrusted with this responsibility following their empowerment by the coalition Government. PDP Chief, Ms. Mehbooba Mufti who also spoke on the occasion shared the agony of people of border areas due to shelling from across the border and said that her party stand for friendly Indo Pak ties that alone guarantee peace in the region. She said opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, which was one of major demand of PDP, would make people to people contact easy and help in demolishing walls of hatred. She said special recruitment drive would be launched in Karnah and other border areas for home and hearth Bns. She said the coalition Government has made the beginning and would achieve in six year what previous Government has not done in 25 year. The local MLAs Kafeel-ul-Rehman and Mr. Nazir Gurezi lauded Chief Minister and coalition Government for giving these areas focussed attention to solve long pending problems of their areas. At all places the Chief Minister distributed relief to over 262 victims of shelling, financial relief to beneficiaries identified under Social Welfare and Rural Development schemes. He also handed over appointment letters to 62 teachers of Karnah and Gurez tehsils. The Chief Minister also distributed Ex-gratia relief of Rs. 8 lakhs among shelling victim at Tangdar.