Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Sunday said the present atmosphere of despair in Jammu and Kashmir could endanger the stability in the state and that the use of force against people should be stopped.
"It is important that the depression gripping the people of the state, especially the youth, resulting from poor governance, lack of development and repression be arrested in time," Sayeed said while addressing a public meeting at Vijaypur, about 25 km from here.
"It is the unstable conditions in the state that make it prone to negative influences. We have to guard against the fallout of strategic changes in the region that can come in the wake of the upcoming pullout of American forces from Afghanistan," he added.
This can only be done "by creating an atmosphere of hope in the state and not through strong-arm tactics that have been the hallmark of governance for the past four years".
Sayeed said that peace can never be achieved through force. "The mighty US is unable to plan its withdrawal (from Afghanistan) without opening channels of dialogue with the Taliban even after 13 years of its operations in that country."
He said: "While the situation in Kashmir could never be compared with that in Afghanistan, unfortunately the approach here has been relying exclusively on security measures, which has made things more complicated."
The PDP leader said the people of the state had repeatedly placed their faith in democratic methods and constitutional processes.
Sayeed also underlined the need for revival of the spirit of 2005 when the governments of India and Pakistan started the bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad.
He added that the reopening of the route was the lone instance when the two governments had conceded something to the people of the state after Independence and Partition.
"The cross-LoC (Line of Control) bus service began to unite the divided families living on both the sides of the border," Sayeed said.