August 2016 News

War, Infiltration No Solution: CM Cautions Pak; Calls For Dialogue

29 August 2016
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today again cautioned Pakistan that war and infiltration (by the militants) was no solution to Kashmir problem and said if Pathankot (terror attack) wouldn't have happened, things would have been different between India and Pakistan. Addressing couple of functions here today, Mehbooba said: 'Pakistan has no option but to come to the negotiating table with India to resolve the issues'. 'If there had been no Pathankot (terror attack), things would have been different between the two neighbouring countries. The two countries would have good relations between them but for Pathankot,' she said. 'The Centre should move forward. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has decisive mandate, should use his powers to save lives of the Kashmiri youth,' Mehbooba, who had met Modi in New Delhi a day before said. Asserting that her Government has picked up the threads, where they were left by Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2004 and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in 2005, Mehbooba said the PDP-BJP coalition Government was determined to move forward and take steps for peace and reconciliation, which was initiated during the tenure of Vajpayee and Mufti but, unfortunately, it didn't progress over these years. The Central leadership will have to take 'one or more steps' than Pakistan to 'apply balm on the wounds' of Kashmiris, Mehbooba said and hoped that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will use his mandate to save the lives and future of children of Kashmir. 'I met Prime Minister recently. I have full hope that the mandate and power he has, he (PM) will use that power to save the lives and future of children of Kashmir,' she said. 'To apply balm on the wounds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, not only the Prime Minister or NDA government but the entire leadership of the country, Congress, CPI(M), JDU etc should come forward and support the peace building initiative,' Mehbooba said. She said Modi has the mandate to take bold decisions on the lines of Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the resolution of the problems in and around Jammu and Kashmir. 'We are facing difficult situation in the state. We hope that we will come out of this situation. We pray to God that such a situation is not repeated again in future,' Mehbooba said. Vajpayee had made a beginning to win hearts and minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, she said, adding he had also impressed upon Pakistan that 'war, conspiracies and infiltration is no solution to Kashmir problem, but we should sit and hold talks'. Hailing the step taken by Modi of going to Lahore which was followed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Islamabad, Mehbooba said, 'I hope that Pakistan will understand sooner or later and will realize that targeting each other or leveling allegations will not solve any issue. Mehbooba recalled that Vajpayee had undertaken a bus ride to Lahore after which then Pakistan Army chief Gen Pervez Musharraf had engineered Kargil aggression. However, Musharraf was later forced to come to India on an invitation of Vajpayee, she added. 'Again Parliament attack took place which took us close to the war. Even after these incidents, Vajpayee Ji open heartedly extended hand of friendship to Pakistan from Kashmir soil for bringing the much-needed peace and normalcy and progress for people of J&K,' she said. Mehbooba said 'there were results after that. Musharraf said that he will not allow the Pakistani soil to be used for the terrorism in J&K. There was downfall in militancy in J&K and there was betterment in the situation and level of alienation came down. LoC roads were opened and process of dialogue began'. 'But unfortunately, Mufti Sayeed Government changed in J&K and later in Delhi, there was change of the government led by Atal ji and the result was that healing touch policy with good governance was stopped and today we are here again.' Maintaining that Jammu and Kashmir was passing through difficult situation, Ms Mufti said the PDP-BJP coalition Government in J&K and the Centre were taking all possible measures to restore peace and normalcy in the Valley. She hoped that the Centre would put 'credible mechanism' in place for addressing Kashmir problem and the steps wouldn't be 'half-hearted approach' like the ones witnessed in the aftermath of 2008 and 2010 unrest. Calling for giving peace a chance, she said: 'violence has never solved any problem nor will it lead to any solution now. All those interested in peace should understand this and come forward for talks'. Lauding the people of Jammu for maintaining peace during 'turbulent period' in the Kashmir valley, the Chief Minister had special words of praise for Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh and BJP MP Jugal Kishore Sharma for camping in Jammu and maintaining liaison with the people to ensure that peace was not disturbed in the Jammu region. Also appreciating former Chief Minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah for visiting New Delhi with 'Mission Peace' in Kashmir, Ms Mufti said it was duty of all stakeholders to ensure that peace and normalcy prevailed in the Valley. Mehbooba said she has not formed the coalition Government with the BJP for the sake of power. 'The PDP hasn't joined hands with the BJP for the sake of power but for development of Jammu and Kashmir and bringing the State out of difficult situation,' she said, adding the implementation of development agenda needs restoration of peace in the State. Asserting that Jammu region is always priority of her Government, Mehbooba said the coalition Government had taken several steps for development of cross-border tourism and tourist places in Jammu region including places of heritage. 'We will develop Jammu and Kashmir into a model State in next four and half years,' she declared. Meanwhile, an official handout said: the Chief Minister handed-over orders of compassionate appointment under SRO-43 to 108 beneficiaries from 10 districts of Jammu division, including 47 from Jammu, 5 from Reasi, 9 from Kathua, 11 from Udhampur, 10 from Poonch, 7 from Samba, 4 from Kishtwar, 3 from Ramban, 8 from Rajouri and 4 from Doda. Earlier, the 106 appointment orders under SRO-43 in respect of Kashmir division were distributed at a similar function in Srinagar last week. Referring to SRO-43 cases, the Chief Minister said that many appointment cases on compassionate grounds were pending due to various reasons over a long time. 'However, the Government is committed to attend to all these cases on priority and has laid special emphasis on their timely finalization,' she said and added that some cases were also cleared through one-time relaxation of rules to absorb children of those who had died in harness. Mehbooba said the Chief Secretary has been personally monitoring the progress of these cases while as the Principal Secretary to CM and the concerned departments are working on war-footing to finalize the cases of compassionate appointment. 'We have been working hard to bring down the pendency of these cases and the concerned officers have been asked to attend to all pending cases on account of compassionate appointment on priority,' she said and added that the beneficiaries should get the benefit without further delay. Addressing the beneficiaries, Mehbooba said she hoped that after appointment to the Government job they shall remain committed and be driven by the thought that how can they contribute at their own level. 'You should come up to expectations, remain dedicated and be responsible towards the assigned tasks', she said. It was informed on the occasion, that the joining period of 21 days for all those who were handed over the appointment letters shall be considered to commence from today and a circular to this effect will also be issued by General Administration Department. Pertinently, distribution of compassionate appointment orders for Kashmir division was organized last week at Srinagar, where such appointment orders were given away to 106 kin of employees who had died in harness.