Mehbooba hopes the dialogue process would create atmosphere for way forward

Says Art 370 a historic commitment by country to JK people, regrets misconception among some sections about spl status

Pitches for opening all historic routes, making JK gateway to Central Asia

NEW DELHI: Terming dialogue as the only way to get Jammu & Kashmir out of the cycle of violence and uncertainty, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today hoped that the appointment of an interlocutor by the Centre would help in creating a congenial atmosphere for a way forward in the State. She said exploiting the geo-strategic position of the State and opening it up to outside world would herald a new era of prosperity and growth in the region.

Participating in an interactive session-Express Adda-of a leading national daily here today, the Chief Minister said dialogue with all stakeholders in the State is the dire need of the hour to end bloodshed, acrimony and hatred besides heralding growth of business, trade and economy. “For how long can we go like this?”, she asked while stressing on a sustained dialogue process to end the violence and miseries of people of the State, whom she described as the worst victims of this tragedy.

Welcoming the Centre’s decision to appoint an interlocutor to take on dialogue process ahead, Mehbooba Mufti said for the first time such an engagement by the Centre has properly been formalised at the highest level. She hoped that with an illustrious and unblemished track record at his back, Mr. Dineshwar Sharma would be able to steer ahead the process to a substantive conclusion. She also underlined the need for supporting this process by all agencies and not do anything which would disturb the ambience of the dialogue process. “It is all the more important to include all those people in the dialogue process whose ideas about the State are different from ours”, she added. Similarly, she said, both India and Pakistan have to learn to live like good neighbours and resolve all differences through peaceful engagement and reconciliation.

Terming Article 370 as a bridge of faith between the State and rest of the country, the Chief Minister said it is also a historic commitment people of the country made to Jammu & Kashmir people when the Muslim majority State voluntarily acceded to an egalitarian society of the country. She however regretted the misconception among certain sections in the country about the special position of the State.

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