Mufti said the accumulated problems of the past decades have deprived the state of the fruits of economic development and social emancipation. The democratic deficit in a major way contributed to political instability but the elections during the past decade and especially the recent Lok Sabha polls have invested the electoral process with a much needed credibility. He said the fact that people have now realized the power of vote will make every government and political party accountable to them which is the essence of democracy. “No government can henceforth disregard peoples aspirations and still hope to be in political field”, he asserted.
Mufti said while internally the democratic institutions need to be strengthened on the external front he cannot visualize any alternative to reconciliation and dialogue between our country and Pakistan. He said the hostility between the two countries has hit the people of J&K the hardest and the incidents on the borders on LOC should keep reminding the two countries the inevitability of sitting across the table to find a just and pragmatic solution.
Mufti said whatever the reasons for hardening of staces by the union government and government of Pakistan there is no substitute to the policy adopted by the Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had famously remarked that ‘ while friends can be changed but neighbours cann’t be’.
Mufti said Vajpayee acquired the mantle of statesmanship of pursuing peace even in the face of provocations and staying his course inspite of deficult impediments. “ The present government will have to revert to Vajpayee policy and engage both Pakistan and the separatist leadership to find a lasting solution to the problems of Jammu & Kashmir.
Criticizing the government Mufti said instead of reaching out to the flood-affected people with substantive relief and rehabilitation measures, the State Government’s halfbaked policies have created massive confusion among the sufferers. Mufti said although there can be no compensation for the actual losses suffered by the people and the economy of the state because of the devastating floods, the Government should put into place an Emergency Food Security and Livelihoods (ESFL) programme to kick-start livelihood regeneration.
“In order to help people pick up threads of life again, the Government while facilitating immediate settlement of insurance claims must provide special grants to the uninsured businesses to enable revival of economic activity,” he said. Mufti said PDP’s focus would be on infrastructure building in agriculture, horticulture, tourism and handicraft sectors to give a fillip to the State’s economy and create more job opportunities for the local youth by fully harnessing their enterprising skills.