Observing that situation in Kashmir depends on Indo-Pak relations, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday emphasised the need for collective efforts of people of India for resolving the issue related to the state which is “unique” in nature.
Mehbooba said Jammu and Kashmir was not like “other normal states” and though it was easy to become the chief minister, it was a difficult task to handle the state.
Jammu and Kashmir is a “unique issue” which requires that the “political process and the governance must go together”, she said, adding “Only a chief minister or prime minister cannot resolve this issue. It has to be resolved by the people of our country.”
Addressing a function on the outskirts of Jammu, she said, “The Kashmir situation also depends on the role of Pakistan and if our relation with that country is good then it has a good impact in the state.”
Referring to the recent visit by an all-party delegation of MPs to the state, Mehbooba said “it was the beauty of the democracy of our country that when the interest of the country came, leaders of various political parties didn’t care for their self-esteem and went to the doorsteps” of the people for peace.
“The issue will be resolved when all political parties of the nation unite...to bring peace in the state. Our home minister visited the state thrice and then came with an all-party delegation,” she said.
Mehbooba said “our country’s big leaders” like Sitaram Yechury of CPI(M), D Raja of CPI, Sharad Yadav of JD(U) and Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM “came to us for the sake of our children. Such honourable people went to the doorsteps (of separatists), but the doors were shut on them...
“I want to salute them and tell them that their effort has not gone waste and the people of the state understand that guests had come and if you (separatists) did not want to talk you could have shown courtesy by not closing the door. We will not let the opportunity slip.”
The chief minister said some people only want “violence and bloodshed ” which, according to her, would not resolve any issue.
“We don’t believe in bloodshed because the democracy of the country is strong enough to look after the people of the state. We need not to see anywhere else but towards the democracy of the country,” she said.
Mehbooba thanked the home minister for appointing a nodal officer in Delhi for the students from Jammu and Kashmir.
The chief minister also said efforts were made to “vitiate” the atmosphere in Jammu region but people of the region foiled such nefarious designs.
Mehbooba said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have lots of problems and the issue has various complications.
“If you talk of the government, our government is in such a critical situation that in 62 days there was strike for 45 days; schools were shuts, shops were closed and stones were pelted...It was a very tough phase in which various departments of our government did a wonderful job,” she said.
While targeting the Opposition for saying that the government has failed, the chief minister said it was easy to level allegations.
“It is easy to say government has failed, but in such a critical situation the government fulfilled its responsibility. Our fight was not against gun-yielding militants but youth of 14 to 17 years of age who were made to pitch against us.
“If an elderly person has to go for dialysis; if a lady has to go for a delivery and after leaving their house they are not afraid of the police, CRPF or Army, but of the stone- carrying young boys,” Mehbooba said.
She thanked the people of Kashmir for letting the Amarnath Yatra pass off peacefully.
She said National Conference which once enjoyed two-third majority in the state assembly could not resolve the Kashmir issue.
“If anything positive happened, it was during Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s tenure which was fully supported by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. There was ceasefire and borders were peaceful from 2003 to 2008 and General Musharraf was also going in the right direction,” she claimed.
Mehbooba said the UPA government could not take the initiative forward and the National Conference and Congress government in the state also failed to carry on with the initiatives started by her late father.
“Mufti Mohammed Sayeed had shown the way that we cannot erase the borders but make them irrelevant- let our children go to other side and their’s come to us and see how we have developed and how they have. How many medical, engineering colleges we have and how many they have,” she said.
While appreciating Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “bold step” of travelling to Lahore to attend the marriage ceremony of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s grand daughter, Mehbooba said the “peace initiative” faced a setback after the Pathankot attack.