January 2018 News

'Whatever We'll Get, It'll Be From India': Mehbooba Mufti In J&K Assembly

10 January 2018
Sheikh Zaffar Iqbal

Srinagar: In her first address to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly during the ongoing budget session today, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in a blunt speech said that whatever the people of the state will get, they will get it from India only, and not anywhere else. 'The people of Jammu and Kashmir, whether in mainstream or outside, should understand that whatever we will get, we will get it from this country alone and not from anywhere else...Honorable position, life with dignity, opening of (cross-LoC) routes, taking trade to another level, or ending bloodshed to start dialogue. This will not be done by any other country but our own,' she said. Ms Mufti said that Dineshwar Sharma, the centre's special representative for Jammu and Kashmir, is much more empowered than the previous interlocutors for the state, but people can't be forced to talk. 'We have to find a solution to the J&K issue. So far many interlocutors were appointed and but you can't take the horse to the stream. Violence is on and people are refusing to talk with the interlocutor,' she said. Ms Mufti said the effort of her government is to help the local youth to shun the path of violence and return home. 'Violence is glorified by posting pics with guns on social media, that's why I want the local boys must shun the path of violence. We want them to return home, they are boys who don't know how to use a weapon. I appeal the Kashmiri PhD scholar also to leave violence and return to normal life, his friends in Aligarh have also written to him, the loss is ours,' she said. But the chief minister was quick to point out that it is important to have good relations with Pakistan as the people of the state always have to bear the brunt of hostilities. Comments 'We can't interfere in the foreign policy of the country, but people need to understand that the Jammu and Kashmir people are the worst sufferers whenever violence happens inside state and on borders. Recently National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan met, I hope Pakistan will give the right answer to PM Modi's hand of friendship', she said. Expressing displeasure over the absence of opposition members who boycotted her address over the law and order situation, she said this was a prolonged problem. 'Jammu and Kashmir is faced with a situation where fidayeen attacks, IED blasts, cross firing and border firing is going on for a long time. I am pained when it is proudly said that we are constructing 14,000 bunkers for border residents instead of ensuring good hospitals, good schools, job opportunities for youth and tourism initiatives.'