Helplessness but not hopelessness in Kashmir, says Mehbooba
Mehbooba Mufti said Jammu and Kashmir at present is under siege with several uncertainties plaguing the life of the people.india Updated: Dec 16, 2017 00:01 IST
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Friday that there was a sense of helplessness but not hopelessness in the minds of people in her state.
She was speaking at the ongoing three-day ‘India Ideas Conclave 2017’ organised by India Foundation in Goa.
“Idea of India is not separate from idea of Jammu and Kashmir because it is the oneness between both. We have had problems in Kashmir for last so many years. We have the baggage of history but to me, having seen Jammu and Kashmir so closely for so many years, there is (a sense of) helplessness but not hopelessness,” the chief minister said.
“We have to have a different approach with the people who are with us and majority of the people are with us,” she added.
She said that Jammu and Kashmir at present is under siege with several uncertainties plaguing the life of the people.
“There is mental siege, emotional siege, economic siege, Kashmir is under all kind of siege. You never know there will be a shutdown call followed by curfew and then there will be protest calls,” she said.
She said that “when we think of Pakistan we should not think of Kashmir. When we think of Kashmir we should not think of Pakistan because Kashmir is ours.”
She said that strategically Jammu and Kashmir is placed in a position whereby using “our geography, whereby restoring our roots to the outside world, we can write a different history.”
“Maybe there is a percentage of people who are pro- Pakistan, there is a percentage of people who are pro-azadi. But majority of the people in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are with the idea of Kashmir as an idea within India,” the chief minister said.
She hailed the efforts by the Modi government to ease the tension with Pakistan. She claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi adopted the same policy when he visited Lahore as adopted by former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
“People keep on telling that he went uninvited. Yes he did that but hedid it for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, for the part of his body which is hurting for so many years. Unfortunately, it was followed by a terror attack,” she said.
Laying her hopes on the Modi-led government to restore normalcy in the valley, she said, “When we were in the process of forming the (coalition) government (in J&K), many of my colleagues were asking me what are you doing? It is suicide.”
The chief minister, however, said the BJP at this point of time is a party which “if you are able to convince that Jammu and Kashmir can be saved like this, then they will listen”.
“That is what Modiji did. He went to Lahore, nobody else would have done that. It was really statesman-like. The BJP being a nationalist party can do anything and everything to get Kashmir out of this mess in which we are,” she commented.
First Published: Dec 16, 2017 00:01 IST