JK at crossroads of historic opportunity for change: Mufti
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said that Jammu & Kashmir is at the crossroads of historic opportunity for change where great hope and promise lies ahead for its people. He expressed the hope that the new government at the Centre would carry forward the peace process with Pakistan in the interest of the people of the region. “The subcontinent’s turbulent history makes it imperative for both, India and Pakistan to resolve their mutual conflicts and forge a strong alliance towards achieving the desired level of human development and economic prosperity for the region,” Mufti said while addressing impressive election rallies in Noorabad and Dooru assembly segments of Anantnag Parliamentary constituency.
He said peace and progress in the subcontinent have, probably, been never as critically linked with stability in Jammu & Kashmir as they are today. “Obviously, the future would now solely be determined by the region’s political leadership on how they cope up with the challenge amid fast-changing equations,” he said and added that the people of Jammu & Kashmir are the highest stake-holders in the Indo-Pak peace process.Mufti emphasized that the onus shall now lie on the new government in New Delhi to consolidate the peace initiative, launched by the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee from Srinagar in April 2003, and carried forward by Dr Manmohan Singh through cross-LoC Confidence Building Measures. “The fruits of peace and prosperity would be shared not only by the people from all the regions of the State, but the whole subcontinent as well,” he said adding; “I am confident of positive action, at the highest level, towards consolidation of the Indo-Pak peace initiatives around J&K.”
Mufti said it is heartening to note that the constituency for peace and reconciliation is becoming larger and louder in the sub-continent and as a strong regional voice PDP has played a modest role in ensuring popular legitimacy of the peace process within and outside the State. He said PDP’s Self-Rule offers a viable framework for the amicable settlement of the Kashmir issue encompassing both the bilateral and the internal dimensions of the problem. Mufti said the confidence building process will have an impact on the ground only when conducive atmosphere is created within the State where the people are in control of the things and their life and dignity is not threatened. “This would be possible only when we send strong political representatives both to the Parliament and the state legislature,” he said.
Mufti said alongside the broader political and economic initiatives, PDP addressed the basic developmental requirements of the State as well, while heading the Coalition Government between 2002 and 2005. “While during our previous term in government, various initiatives were taken in horticulture, tourism, power and education sectors including abolition of toll tax, establishment of fruit mandis, setting up of tourism development authorities, opening of three new universities, adding five campuses to the universities of Kashmir and Jammu, opening 42 degree colleges and upgrading thousands of schools, if people give us the mandate, in our next term focus would be on the development of infrastructure in road communication, health, power, employment generation and social sectors,” he said. Accusing National Conference of exploiting the people through emotive slogans, Sayeed said instead of going to the people with their report card, the functionaries of the NC-Congress coalition government are just beating about the bush. “I am sure that the emancipated people of Kashmir won’t now get carried away by the emotive and propagandist rhetoric of NC leaders and would look for alternative representatives who would serve them better,” he said adding; “I challenge the present government to showcase a single project of public importance that it has accomplished during the past five and a half years of its rule, while on the other hand the signposts of the developmental initiatives by PDP-led government are visible in every nook and corner of the state. He urged the voters to support PDP candidate Mehbooba Mufti by pressing Ink-Pot button on the Electronic Voting Machine. PDP leaders Choudhary Zulfikar-MLA, Peer Mohammad Hussain, Abdul Majid Padroo, Farooq Indrabi, Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din, Choudhary Gulzar Amad Khatana , Adv Mohd Hussain , Shabir Ah Abdul Razak, Imtiyaz Khatana and others also addressed these rallies.