Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Wednesday said the recent incidents of communal violence had hit at “India’s core values” and were posing a grave threat to the country’s plurality and inclusiveness.
Mufti was speaking during the Police Commemoration Day, where senior police officers and jawans had congregated to pay respect to the slain cops and their families.
This was the first time Mufti was speaking in a public function after the death of Valley trucker Zahid Ahmed, who was burnt in an attack in Udhampur region, allegedly by right-wing Hindu elements, over the beef row.
“India is a country of diversity of composite culture, there cannot be domination of one culture over the other. We have to keep the ethos of India alive,” Mufti said.
“Pluralism is the only option. The country has to be inclusive, everybody has to be taken along,” he added.
Mufti said Pakistan was “an example” in this regard, saying the country was still in search of a political model that matched the one “perfected by India”.
“I compliment the Opposition in piloting a resolution unanimously passed by the state legislature, which conveyed message of peace and communal harmony to the rest of the country,” he said, while recalling the events of 1947 when Kashmir became a “torchbearer of peace” as communal frenzy led to the Partition.
Batting for friendly relations with Pakistan, Mufti quoted former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s statement “friends can be changed, not neighbours”.
The chief minister said if India had to become a world power, it will have to maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours. “Uncertainty and violence on borders impacts the local population most and derails the government’s efforts for ushering in a new era of development in the state,” he added.
Laying stress on the “message of peace preached by Islam”, Mufti Sayeed reiterated that gun will never be a solution to any problem. “Na bandook se na goli se, baat banegi boli se (Not guns or bullets, dialogue is the only solution). I feel pain when I see Islam’s message of peace being distorted in such manner,” he stated.