January 2018 News

Indo-Pak Dialogue Must For Peace, Says Mehbooba

7 January 2018
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Suhail A Shah

Bijbehara: On the second death anniversary of her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti emphasised the futility of bloodshed and termed the Indo-Pak friendship imperative for lasting peace in the subcontinent. Mehbooba was addressing a gathering of party workers at the Dara Shikoh Mughal garden in her hometown Bijbehara, where her father is buried. She was accompanied by her brother Tassaduq Mufti, who is the Tourism Minister, and senior leaders of her party. 'We have seen enough bloodshed and have been bearing the brunt of the gun for 30 years now. What has it yielded? It has only filled our graveyards,' she told the gathering. She said at the end of the day, it was Kashmiri people who were getting killed, be it in encounters, attacks on policemen or in fidayeen attacks. 'Today, I request both sides - the Prime Minister of India and the political leadership of Pakistan - that they should work towards lasting peace in the subcontinent. That is only possible with firm friendship between the two countries,' Mehbooba said. She spoke briefly to the party workers after attending a prayer meet at her father's grave, spending less than 20 minutes there. She put forth her point regarding the Indo-Pak friendship during her speech. As she ended her speech, she asked her party workers to raise a slogan, 'Barre sageer mein aman ki khaatir, Hind-Pak dosti zaroori hai (the Indo-Pak friendship is imperative for lasting peace in the subcontinent)'. She made the party workers repeat the slogan several times. This was the first time Mehbooba spoke to party workers at her father's grave. On the fourth day of mourning after her father's death in 2016, she had only waved to people, while holding her brother Tassaduq Mufti's hand and repeatedly breaking down. 'The opening up of the Muzaffarabad and Rawalakot roads has been our only achievement in the last 30 years and it was only due to the efforts of Mufti Saheb,' she said, adding that her father's mission unfortunately could not be completed during his lifetime. She said that her late father was an ardent believer of the dialogue process and that was the only way forward. Tassaduq maintained a low profile at the venue and was not seen during the prayer meet. As everyone else was busy listening to his sister's speech, Tassaduq sat silently by his father's grave. Assistant Director General of Police Munir Khan and several other dignitaries were present.