Asking the youth to shun the path of violence, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Tuesday that they should help her in bringing back peace to the valley so that she can create jobs for them.
“I request you to the help me in bringing back peace here. I will bring the Prime Minister here and ask him to find ways to address the unemployment issue faced by the youth here,” Mehbooba told a youth convention organised by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Srinagar.
Making an emotional appeal, Mehbooba said it is painful to see the youth, who formed the protective layer around her before she had security guards, have stones in their hands.
“My acquaintance with you is not new. Today I have so many bodyguards but it was the youths who would form a protective layer around me when I would visit remote areas earlier. You were my bodyguards. Today I am pained to see the youths having stones in their hands,” she said.
Peace, she emphasised, is imperative for tackling the problem of unemployment.
“Give me peace, I will recruit you in tourism (sector). Give me peace, we will get you trained in Public Health Engineering and Irrigation. Peace is imperative,” she said.
Referring to the recruitment of Special Police Officers (SPOs) last year, she said those chosen will be deployed in Tourism Police and Traffic Police. They will not be given guns, she added.
Mehbooba said as part of her efforts to bring local militants back into the mainstream, 12 youths have shunned the path of violence and given up their arms.
“I will not call it surrender. For me they are part of this family and they have returned to their homes. If they have realised and dropped their guns, it is a big achievement for us,” she said.
Mehbooba also said that at a meeting of Unified Headquarters a couple of months ago, she had given clear instructions to security forces to make all efforts to bring back the youths who do not face any serious charge to the mainstream.
“In Kashmir, only graveyards have seen a rise. I want to make parks and gardens where you will work,” she said.